March 20, 2008

"Tako Kinderwagen Mit Extra"?? Is This Germany's Pistol-Packin' Stroller?


If there's anything Americans love more than a loaded handgun, it's a concealed, loaded handgun. And if you get one for free, all the better. From Reuters:

BERLIN (Reuters) - A stroller sold in an Internet auction in Germany came complete with a deadly plaything -- a pistol loaded with six bullets.

A young couple from the northern town of Verden found the 9 mm Sig Sauer pistol in a side pocket of the pram after collecting it from nearby Hamburg. They called the police.

I know exactly what you're thinking right now[1]: "Who cares about the gun, what kind of stroller was it?"

The report issued by the Hamburg Police has more detail about the incident [google translation], though it still didn't mention the stroller. So last night, I emailed the Police Press Office, who said they had no idea what kind it was, either. The seller was in Hamburg, but the stroller buyers were in Verden, a smaller town [with a different police department office] about 50km away, so the information gap makes sense.

Using the police report, though and a little Law & Order-inspired deduction, I started searching to see if I could ID the perp. Nothing's confirmed yet, but I have a susp--you know what, it's better to call it a Stroller Of Interest. The details are after the jump.

POL-HH: 080319-2. Pistole in Kinderkarre gefunden [, google translation]
[1] NOTE: this should read, "You know exactly what I'm thinking." Daddy Types regrets the error.

The police report does not identify either the buyer or the seller, or the Internet auction site where the stroller was sold. So everything here is based on speculation and inference, and could be--is probably--entirely wrong, especially if the auction site used was anything other than the only German auction site, I know, I've emailed both the buyer and the seller of the stroller I spotted, and if I hear anything back from them, I'll update this post accordingly. So. Here are the useful details:

  • "Three years was the Kinderkarre unused in the basement of a house on Str. Alter Steinweg (Hmb.-Neustadt)."
  • " The buyers, a couple from Verden, picked up the Kinderkarre personally on Monday in Hamburg."

    So a stroller at least 4-6 years old, in a basement in the center of town, local pickup only, and ending no later than the 16th, but probably earlier. There were 19 used strollers sold within 10km of downtown Hamburg between Mar 6-15. Only two can't be eliminated by details within the auction listings: either stroller age, local pickup status, or neighborhood within Hamburg.

    And one of them mentions this: "The basement will be cleared for spring cleaning, and our son doesn't need his buggy or pushchair anymore." Aha.

    The auction was actually for two strollers: "1 ABC Buggy + 1 Tako Kinderwagen mit Extra." Seriously. Now ABC, we know as one of the older German stroller companies, one which now imports into Germany the same Actually By China stroller that Uppa Baby tailors for the US market.

    Tako, though, is new to me. Judging by all the padding and doodads hanging off of the current City Voyager models, though, you could lose enough weaponry in there to arm an entire brigade. Not that they would.


    Greg, if Osama Bin Laden owned a stroller, the CIA would come to you to track it down.

    [I don't know where he is, but I know how he rolls. -ed.]

    Man, in Germany its almost impossible to get your hands on a fully functional, new gun. I bet what the article forgot to mention was that both the gun and bullets were WW2 era, probably forgotten by an Opa who was taking his old army piece and his "enkelkind" out for a walk down to the local pawn shop, and halfway there forget where he was going or what he was doing. But it does give new meaning to the idea of a stroller "with extras!"

    Wish my Perego P3 had a pocket for that. With Beretta being Italian, you'd figure they'd have come up with some marketing deal by now.

    You know I think it's standard in Germany to send extra stuff with ebay-ed strollers. The Gesslein I just bought came complete with a pair of Bob the Builder non-slip socks and a really nice brand new pale blue toy Trabant. And a generous helping of dried soil.

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