12 Dec 2010

Bank robbers killed in Germany

6:49 am on 12 December 2010

Two bank robbers killed in southwest Germany during a shoot-out are suspected of carrying out a series of hold-ups since 1995.

The pair, a man, 40, and a woman, 38, died during a gunfight late on Friday at a bank in Karlsruhe.

The woman reportedly took her own life after seeing the death of her accomplice, her husband.

A female police officer, 28, was also seriously injured.

Prosecutors in Karlsruhe said they were suspected of carrying out 21 armed robberies since 1995, getting away with a total of around two million euros.

Czech identity papers were found on their bodies.

The pair were nicknamed "gentlemen gangsters", because they acted with extreme politeness to the employees of the banks they robbed, often apologising for the inconvenience their actions were causing.