A 40-year-old man kept the police and population in Bochum on tenterhooks for hours on Tuesday with a bomb threat. As the investigators announced in the evening, the man had entered the savings bank in the center of the Wattenscheid district in the afternoon, put down a suitcase and a bag and threatened that he would detonate a bomb. The shopping street was then closed, several shops were evacuated and residents were not allowed into their apartments.

In the end, the police arrested the man – a Syrian living in Bochum. The suspicious items turned out to be harmless. “According to the current status of the investigation, there was never any danger to uninvolved people and there were no injuries,” it said in the evening. The first indications currently point to a mental illness in the man, who is voluntarily undergoing psychotherapeutic treatment.

The officials had pointed out the large-scale operation on social networks and appealed to people not to come to the central pedestrian zone in Wattenscheid. The police were on site with strong forces. Specialists from the State Criminal Police Office were called in and a robot was sent to the branch to examine the items more closely. The shops in the vicinity of the Sparkasse branch were temporarily deserted. The Wattenscheid district is located in the west of Bochum city center and directly borders Essen.