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'Stockholm Syndrome' robber turned away by police

Published: 05 May 2006 12:42 GMT+02:00
Updated: 05 May 2006 12:42 GMT+02:00

Olsson is most famous for his involvment in a sensational 1973 bank robbery at the Norrmalmstorg square in central Stockholm. The phrase 'Stockholm Syndrome', referring to the phenomenon when a hostage becomes sympathetic to the causes of the hostage-taker, comes from events during this heist.

Olsson served time for this crime, but after his release, apparently carried on with unlawful activities. He had been wanted, both by Swedish and international authorities, for more than ten years for alleged financial crimes.

On Tuesday, Olsson decided to turn himself in. "I said that now I want to get rid of this baggage I've carried for almost 15 years."

The guilt-ridden thief found needn't have worried. Upon arriving at the police station on the west coast of Sweden, Olsson was at first encouraged to stay on the run by a policeman.

"When I came to the police on Tuesday, there was cop who said, 'Take off Janne. You're wanted,'" Olsson said, according to Dagens Nyheter's website.

Then, after not accepting the advice and officially turning himself in, Olsson learned that authorities had dropped his case.

"He wanted to confess, but the prosecutor has decided to not pursue the charges of financial crimes since it was so long ago," police spokesman Lars Forsell said.

No charges will be filed against Olsson, who travelled from Thailand to turn himself in. While in town, Olsson also visited the Swedish tax authorities, where he ordered a new passport and set up an account to receive his pension.

"I turn 65 this year," Olsson said.

Jody Sherwood (news@thelocal.se)

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