Several cases of sexual assaults and robberies have been reported also in Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Munich and Frankfurt.
Cologne police said on Tuesday that ninety criminal incidents, many involving sexual assaults, were reported following New Year's Eve celebrations in the city.
Many of the assaults were apparently meant to distract, allowing attackers to snip wallets, cellphones and other devices. Those who tried to fight off the assailants were told in no uncertain terms to get back or face the consequences.
Media reports said that the attacks appeared to have been organized as around 1,000 young men arrived in large groups, seemingly with the specific intention of carrying out attacks on women.
On Thursday Cologne police said that most of the suspects in the New Year’s Eve attacks had entered the country only recently and had applied for refugee status. Many of them are migrants from Syria and North Africa.
A German ex-policeman, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Cologne-style attacks on women are common and routinely hushed up by the authorities.