Hubert’s (67) gold is gone! – I didn’t trust the bank. But the neighbor…

His money box was always closer to Hubert B. (67) than the savings bank. The thrifty Swabian never trusted banks. When he bought his first 500g gold bar for 9,470 Deutschmarks in 1997, the electronics technician looked for a hiding place for his retirement provision in his house in Offenburg.

Over the years, Hubert B. pushed ten gold bars and a gold elephant (64 g) into the heating pipes, distributed three folders, each containing 10,000 euros in cash, to a chest of drawers with a double bottom and a cupboard.

On December 11, 2019, B. came to the hospital after a stroke. “I thought that if I died, the valuables shouldn’t remain hidden,” says the childless widower. And the relatives shouldn’t inherit everything either.

From the bed, he asked his neighbor Michael S. (57) for help with the rescue. And the passionate hunter knew what to do: “We’ll put everything in my gun cabinet, it’s safe there.” After all, it has to be locked at all times.

At the end of 1997, Hubert B. bought a 500 g gold bar for 9,470 German marks.  Price today: around 28,900 euros

At the end of 1997, Hubert B. bought a 500 g gold bar for 9,470 German marks. Price today: around 28,900 eurosPhoto: Joerg Voelkerling

Hubert B. returned home from rehab on January 29, 2020 – and demanded gold and money back. But the neighbors admitted sheepishly: “I was broken into, it’s all gone.”

A case for the police. However, the police found no signs of a break-in and investigated Michael S., his second wife, his son and his stepdaughter.

During interrogations, everyone accused each other: Michael S. reported on an apartment that his wife had bought. In turn, she said her husband had been in the basement for hours and had forbidden her to talk on the phone about the alleged burglary. He is said to have said to Hubert B. during a visit to the hospital: “I know what you can do with the gold.”

The investigations were discontinued. Hubert B. now sued the neighbors at the Offenburg district court. He demanded 282,400 euros in damages (the price of gold had risen enormously in recent years) from the neighbor because of the loss of his valuables. Reason: gross negligence.

Judge Christian Fix, however, dismissed the lawsuit – no custody agreement was concluded: “The defendant only took over the custody as part of a courtesy relationship.”

Hubert's (67) gold is gone!: I didn't trust the bank.  But the neighbor...
Photo: BILD

When the verdict was justified, Hubert B. got loud and snapped at the judge: “How would you have decided if it had been your money?” The hearing ended in a tumult.

“I have now been advised that I should observe whether her lifestyle has changed,” says pensioner B angrily. But the neighbor has moved to an unknown address. Hubert B. no longer wants to sue. “I already have 20,000 euros in court and legal fees, I don’t want to lose my house.”

Michael S. was not available for BILD am SONNTAG. His lawyer says: “The allegations are unfounded. The defendant did not steal or embezzle the valuables.”


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