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Convicted: Taxi robbers (17) promised improvement

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A 17-year-old who, together with two 13-year-olds, stole the car from a taxi driver in Upper Austria in November and then allegedly committed two burglaries, was not legally sentenced to 18 months in prison on Thursday in Linz, six of which were unconditional. The boy, who already had a criminal record for setting fire to a police car during riots at the end of 2021, promised to get better.

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Two 13-year-olds robbed a taxi again

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The 17-year-old climbed into a taxi in Linz on the night of November 9 with two 13-year-olds – a boy and a girl. The three were chauffeured to Kronstorf (Linz-Land district). There, the 13-year-old is said to have faked a gun in his jacket pocket and threatened the taxi driver to shoot him. Together, the two boys are said to have beaten the driver and driven him out of his vehicle.

The trio then drove off in the stolen car. On the way, the young people broke into a supermarket box, where they stole food, drinks and cosmetics for around 600 euros, later they broke into a box with motor oil at a gas station – they needed oil because they had damaged the stolen taxi and the car lost oil. They stole several packs of engine oil. But the car couldn’t get going, so they finally drove away by bus, the prosecutor said.

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On Thursday, the 17-year-old was therefore in court for robbery and burglary. The accused comes from difficult family backgrounds and already has a criminal record: He was there in 2021 when young people rioted in the Ebelsberg district and torched a police car – and he was the one who set the car on fire.

job and therapy

The 17-year-old was remorseful and confessed. His lawyer emphasized that when he received a reprieve after his conviction for the police car incident, he began an apprenticeship. However, as a result of the recent crime, he had to go behind bars, which is why the apprenticeship was terminated. The lawyer emphasized that his client learned from the prison experience. He wants to look for a job again and also has a place in therapy because of his drug problems.

The prosecutor demanded a completely unconditional prison sentence “because the partially conditional one had no effect”. She also told the boy, who will soon be 18, that the current five-year sentence would be doubled for new offenses.

“Get smarter”: Advice from the judge

The jury found the boy guilty as charged and imposed a partial sentence of 18 months. For his older conditionally suspended sentence, the probationary period was extended to five years. “Exercise your right to become smarter,” Judge Alfred Pfeisinger advised him. The boy accepted the verdict, the prosecutor made no statement.

The prosecuting authorities’ hands are tied when the two 13-year-olds, who are said to have been involved in the taxi robbery, were still under criminal responsibility at the time of the crime. The teenagers are likely to belong to a loose association of young people who are said to have committed violent crimes, burglaries and (car) thefts in various constellations in several districts and violated the Narcotic Substances Act and the Prohibition Act. Their misdeeds had recently even triggered a discussion about the age limit for criminal responsibility.

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