On 30 September, the Berlin-based newspaper B.Z. published a human interest article about Ismail P., titled Criminal since 14: 25-year-old and before a judge again, the article paints a stark picture of a life wasted in attempts to make the world a worse place.

As a small boy, aged eleven, he first caught the attention of the Police. By 14, he was before the magistrate for the rape of a child. When he was 20 years old, he robbed a supermarket disguised as Santa. According to the article, he beat up people, blackmailed them and drove around town without a driver’s licence. Serial offender Ismail P. seems to have grown older, but not a whole lot wiser.

Less than six weeks after getting out of jail, he had returned to a life of crime, joined by an accomplice (17). Without much success. The video of his failed attempt at the robbery of a jewellers’ store did the rounds on Social Media – the very same day he disappeared behind bars again. Last Friday his trial for aggravated robbery started before the State Court.

The article states, that where he lost his ‘cool’ during his last appearance in court in 2012, trying to take the courtroom apart, he now remained quiet while the Public Prosecutor read the charge. He is suspected of having driven, around 17:00 on 16 May 2017, a Mercedes with stolen licence plates to a jewellers’ store on the Karl-Marx Street in Neukölln, a district of Berlin.

After putting on masks and gloves, it was on. The accomplice jumped out of the car first, grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran into the store. There he emptied the extinguisher into the back of the shop, so he could rob the place without interruption. Ismail followed him in with a sledgehammer, shattering the glass of the display cases. Loaded down with 40, mostly golden, chains and a brace worth €43.000 they beat a hasty retreat.

Get in the car and go!

That must have been what they were thinking, according to the article. Until now, everything had been going to plan. But as they try to start the car, they Jeweller storms out, brandishing the sledgehammer Ismael left behind. Together with his employees, he gives chase and succeeds, with the help of passers-by, to arrest Ismael and accomplice, not a hundred meters from the scene of the crime.