Press Release 020/2014

Chemicals Stolen at KIT

On January 23, 2014 in the evening, an employee of the large-scale research sector of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology was controlled when leaving the premises due to the suspected theft of chemicals, a specially prepared glass vessel, and other objects. Internal security procedures of KIT and reasonable grounds resulted in the exit control of the person and the discovery of the theft. The police was called immediately. In agreement with the police and the public prosecutor’s office, it was first refrained from communicating the incident due to ongoing investigation.


As a result of the immediately started investigations of the police and a house search in the same night and a few days later, big amounts of additional chemicals and other objects were found, most of which had been stolen from KIT. The case was then taken over by the public prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe.


KIT has now initiated an extensive internal examination as to how this incident could have happened. Normally, a four-eyes principle is applied when ordering chemicals. Order processes are checked in several stages and also a necessity check is required. The accused person assumed a position of trust and had a high technical qualification.


Due to the incident, KIT has arranged for the conditions of the order procedure and the internal control mechanisms being reviewed exten-sively. If necessary, the control system will be tightened and monitored more closely in order to ensure that such incidents will not happen again. The employment relationship with the employee was terminated.


Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,800 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

lg, 10.02.2014


Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
presse does-not-exist.kit edu

The press release is available as a PDF file.