Gampelen BE“She just acted instinctively and went confrontational”

On Wednesday afternoon, a rest area in Gampelen was robbed by two young men. The gas station operator told 20 minutes how his employee ran after the thieves.

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Unknown perpetrators robbed the Platanenhof rest stop in Gampelen and threatened the cashier with a machete about 50 centimeters long. The perpetrator is currently volatile.

Google Street View

One of the two men wore a helmet during the robbery, the other covered his face with a red t-shirt.  Both wore black trousers and jackets.  They should be between 18 and 25 years old.

One of the two men wore a helmet during the robbery, the other covered his face with a red t-shirt. Both wore black trousers and jackets. They should be between 18 and 25 years old.

Google Street View

The Bern canton police are still looking for witnesses.

The Bern canton police are still looking for witnesses.

20 minutes/Simon Glauser

That’s what it’s about:

  • In Gampelen, the Platanenhof rest stop was robbed by two unknown people.

  • The cashier was threatened with a machete about 50 centimeters long.

  • The operator emphasizes to 20 minutes how bravely his employee acted.

A rest stop was robbed in Gampelen on Wednesday afternoon. Two unknown perpetrators threatened an employee with a dangerous object and stole cash, as the Bern cantonal police wrote in a media release.

The 76-year-old operator Jakob Aebi describes the situation on the phone: At around 5 p.m., two young men drove to the Platanenhof service area on an electric motorbike. They dismounted and went into the shop. “The shop was busy all day long,” says Aebi.

“The two of them went to the cash register, pushed the Plexiglas behind the cash register and brazenly stole the entire day’s receipts from the cash register that was just open while one was handling the machete,” says Aebi. One perpetrator wore a motorcycle helmet and the other covered his face with a red T-shirt.

Employee fought back

The two men had demanded cash with a 50 centimeter long machete. After receiving their loot, the visibly young perpetrators fled in the direction of Ins. Despite an immediate search, they could not have been stopped, reports the cantonal police. “1900 francs are gone – just gone,” says the operator, audibly agitated.

In an interview with 20 minutes, the operator emphasizes how bravely his employee acted. She threw a wastepaper basket at the robbers, ran after them on foot to the electric motorbike and almost pulled one of the perpetrators from the vehicle. “She just acted instinctively and went confrontational,” says Aebi.

A customer with a passenger then drove to the gas station. She asked him to follow the fleeing vehicle. “These are robbers, follow them both,” she said, according to Aebi. The customer followed in his car in the direction of Ins and his passenger filmed the fleeing perpetrators. “Unfortunately, they were too agile and were able to escape,” says Aebi.

Burglary a few days earlier

There had already been a burglary at the rest area on Monday evening. The alarm went off shortly after all employees had finished work. “My son was still in the basement at the time. When he looked, he saw that the glass door had been smashed in with a large stone. There was broken glass everywhere and there was a lack of alcohol and cigarettes,” says Aebi. On the surveillance camera he saw three young men “between 16 and 20” with two electric motorcycles.

In retrospect, a clear case for Aebi: «On Wednesday, the same perpetrators were probably here again. I recognized the vehicle!” Aebi thinks that the perpetrators live in the area. “They are definitely here in the region. An electric scooter like that can’t come from New York.”

The whole situation is currently very stressful for the operator. «I am a trained agricultural machinery mechanic and have built up our business over decades. The customers are always friendly and courteous, you know each other. My two sons also work in the family business. I never thought something like this would happen here.”

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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