Oddly Enough

Burglars break into prison to rob absent inmates

AMSTERDAM (Reuters Life!) - It would make a good gag for a comedy if it weren’t actually true: thieves have broken into a Dutch prison to steal the inmates’ televisions.

Twice in the last six weeks, burglars broke into a minimum-security prison and stole TVs from cells while prisoners were on weekend furloughs, a spokesman for the justice ministry said on Wednesday.

The prison, in the town of Hoorn 42 km (26 miles) northeast of Amsterdam, is for inmates near the end of their sentences.

The facility is what the Dutch government calls a “very modestly protected environment,” where prisoners transition back into society. They are typically allowed weekend leave, which is when the burglars decided to take advantage.

The thefts happened on two separate weekends about a month apart in March and April. The ministry spokesman said it has still not been able to confirm how the burglars gained access.

A spokeswoman for the public prosecutor’s office in the region confirmed only that a break-in at the prison had been reported to police and added that no arrests had yet been made.

Reporting by Ben Berkowitz, editing by Paul Casciato