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Around Slovakia

Thieves steal over 100 CDs and a brown scarf
Driver hits three youths, kills one
Two thugs rob teenage boy at bus stop
Fake 100 US dollar bill used in Tatras
Extortionist caught in restaurant red-handed
'Private investigators' employ peculiar technique
Avalanche victim in serious condition
Gold mine slide takes miner's life

Michalovce
Thieves steal over 100 CDs and a brown scarf

More than 100 CDs were stolen from 27 year-old Košice-native Dušan Ž. during a visit to Michalovce on January 30.
A group of seven or eight locals convinced Dušan Ž. that they were interested in buying several of his CDs. When he let them into the block of flats where he was staying, they pushed him to the floor, snatched a travel bag with the CDs and a brown winter scarf, sprayed an unidentified liquid into his eyes, then fled the scene.
Police have yet to identify the culprits. Dušan Ž. estimated the cost of the CDs at around 13,000 Slovak crowns ($280).


Banská Bystrica
Driver hits three youths, kills one

A car accident January 29 in Banská Bystrica ended the life of a 13 year-old when a 22 year-old driver from the village of Priechod drifted into the opposite lane, then drove onto the sidewalk where he hit three pedestrians.
A 13 year-old girl was struck and died immediately. Her 12 year-old sister also suffered injuries expected to heal within 7 days, attending doctors said. The third youth hit, a 14 year-old boy, suffered deep bruises and other injuries which will require 42 days of recovery.
A police investigation has not revealed why the driver apparently lost control of his car.


Bratislava
Two thugs rob teenage boy at bus stop

Bratislava police apprehended one of two culprits who stole 4,200 Slovak crowns ($90) from a 14 year-old Bratislava boy shortly before midnight on January 26. At the time of the theft, the juvenile had been waiting for a bus near the Carrefour shopping centre in Petržalka.
Police said that 24 year-old Ferdinand T. admitted that he and his cohort first approached the boy and asked for a cigarette. When the boy said that he didn't smoke, the thieves then asked if he had change for a banknote.
When the 14 year-old said he had no money on him, the thieves began shouting at the boy and threatened to assault him unless he handed over his wallet. The scared teenager took out his wallet and asked the robbers how much money they wanted to change. Ferdinand T. then grabbed the wallet and both culprits ran away.
Ferdinand T. refused to name his companion to the police. If convicted of robbery, he could face 10 years in prison.


Poprad
Fake 100 US dollar bill used in Tatras

A fake $100 note was confiscated from the Tatranská Lomnica branch of Poľnobanka bank. Poprad Police said that the bill had been deposited by a Tatranská Lomnica hotel finance manager who had deposited the note along with Slovak banknotes from that day's receipts.
After the bank clerk discovered that the bill was fake, the hotel's finance director said that an unknown international guest had used the 100 dollar bill that day in the hotel restaurant.
Local police said that in the year 2000, they had investigated 22 cases of fake banknotes of various currencies. Of those cases, they were only once able to identify the criminal spreading or producing the fake currency.


Dubnica nad Váhom
Extortionist caught in restaurant red-handed

Dubnica nad Váhom police caught 21 year-old Ondrej H. in the act of forcefully taking money from 20 year-old Roman in a local restaurant on January 29. Roman told the police that Ondrej H. had approached him that afternoon in a park and said that he had seen him fighting with 15 year-old Tomáš, and that Roman therefore had to give him 2,000 crowns ($43).
Roman said he did not have that kind of money with him. But because Roman knew Ondrej H. and his bullying ways, he was afraid of being beaten up and thus promised to meet him later that day and pay the money.
When the two met in a local restaurant, Roman began paying Ondrej the money just as police entered, catching the extortionist in the act. Ondrej H. was arrested in the restaurant and now faces three years in prison.


Valaská Belá
'Private investigators' employ peculiar technique

An unusual method of forcing an admission from a suspected criminal was employed by 44 year-old entrepreneur Stanislav C. and his 24 year-old co-culprit Stanislav B., both from the Valaská Belá village near Prievidza.
The two men were sure that 18 year-old Dušan K. had information about a man who had allegedly broken into Stanislav C.'s house and stolen a computer and several other electronic appliances. They persuaded the teenager to leave the pub he was drinking in then, once outside, handcuffed him and forced him into their car.
Outside the village, they parked the car near the woods and threatened to use violence against Dušan K. unless he gave them the information they were seeking.
Dušan refused to answer the questions. Angered, the two tormentors took off his shoe, poured petrol on his sock and lit it on fire while still on his foot.
Dušan managed to put out the fire by sticking his foot in the snow. After the two 'investigators' realised that they would not get the desired information from Dušan, they drove him back near the village, and dropped him off at the town gas station. Both culprits are facing charges of blackmail, confinement, and attempted assault.


Low Tatras
Avalanche victim in serious condition

The health condition of 22 year-old alpine skier Bohuš B., who was trapped under an avalanche at Chopok peak in the Low Tatras on January 28, was listed in critical condiiton at a Banská Bystrica hospital.
The head of the hospital's emergency department said that doctors had found no fractures, but that the patient was suffering from hypothermia. Doctors are also worried about potential internal wounds.
Bohuš B. was trapped under the snow for about 45 minutes near the Chopok Kamenná Chata. He was rescued by local mountain rescue members and transported to hospital by a Poprad rescue helicopter. Another skier was trapped in the avalanche, but luckily managed to escape with no injuries.
According to the rescue members, the avalanche was between 300 to 400 metres long and 250 metres wide.


Hodruša-Hámre
Gold mine slide takes miner's life

Miners working in a Slovak gold mine on January 29 experienced some terrifying moments when the mine suffered a series of early morning rock slides. Miners said that a moment of silence followed the first slide, followed by cries from their colleagues who remained trapped under the rock.
A 28 year-old miner died from the accident en route to hospital. Another miner, 36 year-old Ján V. was severely wounded. According to doctors, Ján V. will take about four months to recover from multiple head, spine and chest wounds.
When asked by media what happened, Ján V. refused to speak because he feared losing his job. The Regional Mining Office (OBÚ) also refused to provide detailed information about the accident, saying that no information would be provided to the media until the case had been fully inspected by the OBÚ.
A full police investigation is expected to show whether the accident was chance or the result of company negligence.


Compiled by Martina Pisárová
from SITA and press reports

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