I came across a reference to Merseburg being a city of thieves and had to follow it up. Sure enough, there's a passage in Widukind of Corvey in reference to Henry II of Germany. The king took convicted thieves and put them into a suburb of the city (the word suburb simply means "below the wall"). Here's one translation: "It was a band composed of robbers; for the king, who liked to be mild toward his subjects, exempted even thieves or robbers, when they were brave and warlike men, from their deserved punishment and caused them to be settled in the suburb of Merseburg. He gave them fields and arms and ordered them to keep the peace with their countrymen; against the Wends, however, he let them make plundering expeditions as often as they pleased." The Wends were pagan Slavs living around the area of the lower Elbe River and were a constant worry for over two centuries. Anyway, there you go. A city (well, suburb) of thieves, documented. Kewl.