The border troops set up an observation post at Bernauer Straße 44 to enable the guards to observe activity on Bernauer Straße. On the evening of September 17, 1962, they noticed a man in front of the building at Bernauer Straße 42. The border guards suspected that he was planning to escape. The squad leader sent for a flashlight so they could search the deserted building. Meanwhile a West Berlin policeman threatened the guard at the observation post with his drawn weapon. Other policemen were positioned in front of Bernauer Straße 42, ready to shoot. They broke through a walled-up basement window and three young men climbed out. The fugitives were driven away quickly in a police car. The escape was already over when border soldiers arrived half an hour later.