Mouth robbery: Is that already theft or still allowed? Here you can legally pick fruit
Anyone who uses someone else’s fruit trees may be liable to prosecution. But it is also legal, because a practical map shows you where you can simply pick apples, cherries and the like.
Up until the mid-1970s, the theft of “small amounts of food and beverages or of insignificant value for immediate consumption” was considered mouth robbery and was regulated in the Criminal Code. Since, from a legal point of view, it was only a “transgression”, only a small penalty was provided.
Today, it no longer matters what is stolen: It doesn’t matter whether it’s an apple or a wristwatch, it’s theft, which is punishable under Section 242 of the Criminal Code. However, if things of little value are stolen – the limit is around 50 euros – the police and public prosecutor’s office only become active if a criminal complaint has been filed.
To be on the safe side when picking or gathering fruit and vegetables, experts advise locating the owner and asking permission. Otherwise there is a risk of legal trouble.
Where mouth grabbing is allowed
However: In Germany there are millions of fruit trees that bear delicious fruit – and by no means all of them are privately owned. The interactive Mundraub map explains where you can find them (more information at CHIP). Here you will find wild fruit trees, shrubs and herbs that you can help yourself to without any worries.
The card lives from the participation joy of its users. The community in Germany has already entered ten thousand localities. If you zoom in on a location on the map, you can use a pictogram to see exactly what kind of plant it is.
The Mundraub card differentiates between fruit trees, bushes, herbs and nuts. A click on the respective locality opens a short description, often including photos.
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