How far would you go to redeem a bit of free cash? Would you pick a penny off the sidewalk, answer some market research questions, or return your glass bottles to claim a deposit? Well, two men in Berlin went one step further: They stole a car in order to claim the rewards they’d get for recycling the trash inside.
You read that right. According to police in Germany, the two men swiped a 30-year-old Honda to try to take all the trash to a recycling spot. Once there, the two men hoped to claim back the deposits placed on the recyclable containers.
In Germany, people recycling glass and plastic containers can claim between €0.08 to €0.25 (between 9 and 28 US cents) for returning their used bottles and boxes.
According to news site DW,
“Two men apparently stole a car in Berlin early on Sunday in order to get a collection of recyclable bottles, authorities said.
“The two suspects, 41 and 31, said they had been under the influence of drugs at the time and had also taken heroin together. According to police, the pair said they noticed the 30-year-old Honda because it contained many returnable bottles. They said their plan was to drive the car to a location where they can redeem the containers and then abandon the vehicle.”
Police in Germany added that “according to their own statements, they wanted to leave the car there” once they had collected the refund cash.
Lawmakers in Germany didn’t say how many containers were in the aging Honda, but it surely had to be a lot for it to be a better investment than just stealing the car, right?
In any case, the pair’s eco-minded scheme was thwarted by their erratic driving.
The pair reportedly managed to start the car and began driving away but soon caught to attention of local police thanks to their reckless driving. When officers tried to stop the car, the driver accelerated and then hit two parked cars when attempting to evade officers. Officers suspect the thieves were under the influence.
“After the second collision, the men jumped out of the car and ran away, but officers were able to catch them.”
Police in Germany are now investigating the two men for crimes including serious theft, an illegal motor vehicle race and two hit-and-runs.
But there was one silver lining: The owner of the stolen Honda was able to pick up his car after the ordeal was over. Maybe they'll reap the recycling rewards, instead.