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Master of Scaremonies
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German masked robbers revealed as costumed children
50 minutes ago

Two sharp-eyed Germans saw what they thought were masked bank robbers in "a suspicious-looking car" with tinted glass windows in front of a bank and called police -- who discovered three children wearing Halloween masks.

The two women in the small northern town of Bad Zwischenahn separately spotted a "dark van with foreign registration plates", police said on Monday. But the van left before police arrived. The women reported they had probably scared them away.

Authorities launched a manhunt to track down the car, which they caught two hours later. They detained the driver and three passengers -- children in Halloween costumes. They were brought to headquarters for questioning, officer Juergen Harms said.

"We got a call that there were 'masked people in front of a bank' and assumed it was a hold-up," he said. "But after we brought the man and the children in for questioning, we were able to quickly establish it was a case of mistaken identity."

The man had driven away quickly because the video store he wanted to drop off a film at was closed.

"It was hard for the witnesses to see that it was three children wearing Halloween masks," Harms said, adding police had thanked the women for being observant.

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