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Golden Cookie Heist in Germany

February 1, 2013

The Cookie Monster has struck again.

cookiemonster(Photo was found here at

The Bahlsen group, one of Germany’s most famous cake-and-biscuit-and-cookie companies and employer of 2,527, has long been a pillar of the German sweets-and-treats economy. As testament to this, there was a golden version of one of their famous cookies attached to a statue outside of their Hanover, Germany  headquarters. Now, the company is in duress: this icon, testament to their continued notoriety in the distribution of snack-cakes, has been stolen. By whom?

The company received a ransom note this week from (allegedly) the perpetrator, who signed the letter “Cookie Monster.” The note, comprised of cut-out magazine letters, details just what this fiend wants to have happen, should the Bahlsen group want their golden cookie back:

  • The Bahlsen Group must deliver treats to a local children’s hospital. It is very important that these be milk chocolate, not the dark chocolate variety.
  • The €1000 reward for information leading to the return of the golden cookie should be donated to a local animal shelter.

The Cookie Monster, known in Germany as the “Krümelmonster” is a recurring character on the German version of Sesame Street, Sesamstrassewhich premiered in 1973 in West Germany.

An article on the German news site, der Spiegel, poses the question: is this the work of a Robin Hood or a Grinch? The Bahlsen group, whose founder coined the German word “Kekse”, seems to think the latter is the case, as does the hospital to which this purported Cookie Monster has requested the company give “aid” in the form of baked goods. The hospital had this to say: “One cannot forget that we are dealing with a case of theft and blackmail… Bahlsen has already done a lot for our hospital– it doesn’t need to be coerced in this way.”

However, on January 31, Bahlsen promised that, should the Golden Cookie be returned, they will donate around 52,000 packets of their biscuits/cookies to 52 social facilities.  “We want our biscuit back,” said Werner M. Bahlsen, leader of the company, “This biscuit is a symbol for our house.”

In an interview with Spiegel, the German actor who voices “Krümelmonster” on the German version of the show, Douglas Welbat, had this to say about the recent theft:

“Stealing is no attitude for the Cookie Monster. That would contradict the pedagogical mission that it’s had since 1972. ”

When asked about the Cookie Monster’s history of cookie-thievery, Welbat had this to say:

“I can’t remember a scene where the Cookie Monster stole cookies. When there were cookies, they were his for disposal.”

However, the Cookie Monster is not without shortcomings: “Failure of self-control is his hallmark…” and when confronted with a problem? “The Cookie Monster sees all problems as coming from cookies. To solve problems, he eats cookies.”

So, this rendition of the “Cookie Monster” was something different than what the persona of the puppet stands for. Maybe a more accurate depiction was in New York a couple of weeks ago, visiting sick children in the hospital.

Here’s the ransom note:

Cookie Monster biscuit thief

(image also from

and here is a rough translation:

To the cookie-less:

I have the cookie! You want to have it, and therefore on a day in February you will want to give all the children in the Bult Hospital cookies (as a gift). But they have to be those with milk chocolate in them, not those with dark chocolate, and not the ones without chocolate. And a golden cookie for the children in the cancer ward. Otherwise this won’t happen. Furthermore, you will want to give the 1,000 Euro reward to the animal shelter in Langenhagen. Then hopefully you’ll have the cookie. This is dear to me and therefore you will want to be really generous. Truly this is serious! Otherwise: the cookie will come to Oscar (the Grouch) in the garbage can. Really!!! When you’ve done all of this, I will write another letter that tells you where the biscuit is.

Cookie Monster

Update: The cookie was found hanging from a statue at Leibniz University on the 5th of February, 2013. By March, it was back in the hands of its rightful owner. The robber left this message:


Another rough translation:

“The cookie is back and Werni (Werner Michael Bahlsen, chief of the company) is quite pleased. But remember: not those (cookies) without chocolate.”

Thus ends the harrowing odyssey of one golden cookie/biscuit. As of July 22, 2013, not a soul has been apprehended in relation to this case.



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