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Black Forest fugitive who disarmed police ‘had no support during manhunt’

The manhunt had involved more than 2,530 police officers.

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Police officers in a forest area near Oppenau, Germany (Benedikt Spether/dpa via AP)

Police officers in a forest area near Oppenau, Germany (Benedikt Spether/dpa via AP)

Police officers in a forest area near Oppenau, Germany (Benedikt Spether/dpa via AP)

A man arrested following a five-day manhunt in Germany’s Black Forest, which started when he disarmed four officers at gunpoint, appears to have had no support from anyone else during his time in hiding, police said Saturday.

The 31-year-old suspect, Yves Rausch, was captured on Friday after police received tips from two witnesses.

A judge on Saturday ordered him kept in custody pending possible charges of robbery by extortion and unauthorised possession of a firearm.

The investigation so far suggests that Rausch spent the whole of the manhunt in the forested hills around the small town of Oppenau in south-western Germany, police and prosecutors said in a statement.

In questioning, he said that the weapon he threatened officers with at the beginning of a drama was a blank gun, the statement said. It said that is still under investigation.

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Emergency services block off the access to the Ramsbach district of Oppenau (Benedikt Spether/dpa via AP)

Emergency services block off the access to the Ramsbach district of Oppenau (Benedikt Spether/dpa via AP)

AP/PA Images

Emergency services block off the access to the Ramsbach district of Oppenau (Benedikt Spether/dpa via AP)

The four missing police weapons were recovered and an additional handgun found when the suspect was arrested on Friday. He was also carrying a hatchet.

On Sunday, police were alerted to a suspicious person carrying a bow and arrow and conducted an ID check on the man at a hut where he had settled illegally.

Officials have said Rausch initially co-operated but then suddenly pulled a gun on the officers, threatening and forcing them to hand over their service weapons. Nobody was injured.

The incident triggered a manhunt that, by the time it ended on Friday afternoon, had involved more than 2,530 police officers.

Rausch lost his home last autumn and had had no permanent address since then, according to authorities.

PA