Undercover police catch Zurich pizza gang

Officers arrested three teenagers in Zurich after an undercover operation exposed a gang terrorizing pizza delivery men, Zurich police said on Wednesday.

Undercover police catch Zurich pizza gang
Photo: Matt Chan

The operation aimed to catch the culprits of three attacks on pizza delivery men in Zurich’s district three in the past few weeks.

In each instance, the gang ordered a pizza and then used baseball bats and pepper spray to attack the delivery man on arrival at the given address, before stealing his money, mobile phone and pizzas.

On Tuesday night, a police officer stood in for the courier after the pizza restaurant took a late-night order for an address in the Friesenberg area.

Arriving at the specified property at around 11.30pm, the undercover police officer was confronted by several hooded youths.

When other officers intervened, the gang attacked them with baseball bats and pepper spray.   

Three police officers were slightly injured in the incident.

In a statement, police confirmed the arrests at the scene of three teenagers aged 16, 17 and 19.

Several other members of the gang escaped.

Speaking to newspaper 20 Minuten, a local resident said he saw several police cars and around 15 police officers outside the property on Tuesday night.

He described seeing a police officer give chase to a youth trying to flee over a barrier.

“I am shocked to know that such things go on in this neighbourhood,” he said.

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IN PICTURES: Swiss techno Street Parade returns after two-year absence

Hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets of a sun-baked Zurich Saturday for the Swiss city's annual techno Street Parade, after a two-year absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.

IN PICTURES: Swiss techno Street Parade returns after two-year absence

But celebrations were marred by the death of a young man who drowned after jumping into the city’s river near the parade. Zurich police said rescuers tried to save the man but it was too late.

Around 850,000 people attended the last event in 2019, and this year, organisers expected between 750,000 and one million.

street parade zurich

Participants celebrate the 29th edition of Street Parade with one reveller holding a sign reading ‘finally, normal people’. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

Under a clear blue sky, fans gathered for the start of the free parade for around two kilometres (1.4 miles) along the river in the heart of Switzerland’s financial capital.

revellers at street parade in zurich

This year’s Street Parade gathered several hundred thousands of ravers and electronic music fans. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

As the temperature reached 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit), the river’s banks were full of revellers, many taking the plunge into the water to keep cool.

“I don’t have the right words to describe the atmosphere here, it is fantastic, all the people you know they are so eager to party,” said Patrick, a 26-year-old Master’s student in Zurich, with multi-coloured flowers and glasses on his head.

“You can feel that, you can feel the vibration in the air,” he added.

The highlight of the event is 30 floats known as “lovemobiles”, which are usually brightly decorated trucks with music, DJs and party-goers.

street parade zurich

Revellers jump into Lake Zurich to cool off during the 29th edition of the Street Parade in Zurich. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

More than 200 DJs will play at this year’s event, including international stars Adriatique, Anna Tur, Ida Engberg, Reinier Zonneveld and Syreeta.

After two years marked by the pandemic, the organisers said the parade’s motto was “THINK”.

street parade zurich

Revellers surround one of the 30 ‘lovemobile’ floats at the event. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

“Thoughts are the key to a peaceful coexistence of our cultures, no matter what religion, skin colour, origin or sexual orientation people belong to,” organisers said.

The first edition of Street Parade took place in 1992, drawing a mere 1,000 revellers and only two lovemobiles.

It is now the biggest techno party in Europe.