In the coming days The Budapest Times will hand out The
Pink Snouts, our awards for the best of the worst in Hungary in 2008.
Today: "Most Bungled Robbery Snout ". And the winner is: A plan not well
After night of hard drinking in a cantina in the wild eastern county of Borsod at the end of June, three men decided it would be good sport to go cucumber pilfering. They had in mind the prize uborkas growing in a local 68-year-old villager’s vegetable garden.
The old man had already been targeted on numerous occasions. Crop theft is a widespread problem in rural Hungary. Many vineyard owners, for example, have to employ 24-hour guards to keep watch over their carefully nurtured vines.
Our hero in village of Kesznyéten decided instead to erect an electrified fence around his field. And not the kind that gives curious cows a punch on nose: this one was wired to the mains.
All the villagers knew about it, including, apparently, the thieves. Nevertheless, the three men, aged 28, 30 and 48 thought the bounty was worth the risk.
The oldest died instantly, the second was knocked out by the 220-volt shock and ended up on life support, while the youngest, who only suffered burns to his extremities went for help. Help came in the form of members of the three men’s extended Roma family. The police intervened before a vendetta could be carried out.
The two surviving would-be thieves faced charges of theft. More controversially, the aged smallholder vigilante had an attempted murder charge slapped on him, and the village mayor provided a defence lawyer.