Two arrested after bank robbery shoot-out
Published: 10 Jan 2013 10:35 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Jan 2013 10:35 GMT+01:00
Two men have been arrested after opening fire on police with automatic weapons in a north Stockholm bank robbery on Wednesday, while police in southern Stockholm were kept busy with another raid on an armoured car.
The heist took place at a branch of the Handelsbanken bank in Täby, northern Stockholm, when the two men drove their car into the bank's glass door.
"There were at least two assailants with what appeared to be automatic weapons. They drove into the bank in a car to get inside. We got the alarm at 8.52am," said Lars Byström of the Stockholm police to the TT news agency.
The thieves opened fire when the police arrived, hitting a police car but not injuring any officers.
The thieves then changed car and attempted to make a getaway, opening fire on police once again.
One of the men was arrested shortly after their car was found in Bro, north-west of the city, while his accomplice escaped into the woods.
Police launched a massive manhunt for the accomplice with sniffer dogs and helicopters, eventually finding and arresting the man around midday.
According to the Expressen newspaper, the first suspect was arrested while waiting in line for his order at a roadside hamburger stand.
The arrested men, aged 35 and 24, are both known to police.
The 35-year-old man was most recently convicted in 2008 for preparing to commit aggravated robbery, and was sentenced to three years in prison.
In 2002, he was sentenced to six years in prison for attempted murder, pimping, and aggravated weapons law violations.
In August 2004, he and two other inmates escaped from prison with the help of two masked and armed men, but was arrested four days later.
The bank that was robbed was not open to the public at the time of the robbery, and no money was taken in the heist, according to Handelsbanken spokesman Henrik Westman.
"Like all banks, we have advanced security systems that minimizes the amount of cash that needs to be handled," he told TT.
Meanwhile on the south side of the city, a guard was hit in the head during a robbery on an armoured car outside of a Nordea bank in Huddinge.
Three robbers escaped, two on foot and a third in a car. According to the TT news agency, there have been reports that the guard was hit by an axe, although police are yet to confirm this.
Wednesday’s robberies follow two other high profile raids in the Stockholm area last week, one at a jewellery store in Södertälje where one of the suspected thieves died after being shot in the head by police.
The other was on a cash transit vehicle in central Stockholm when all the thieves escaped on the underground train line after letting off smoke bombs.
It remains unclear if any of the robberies are connected, and no money has been reported stolen so far.
The number of robberies in Sweden has dropped dramatically in recent years, with only five robberies taking place in 2012, compared with 16 in 2011.
In the early 1990s, there were more than 100 bank robberies a year, according to police statistics, with 153 taking place in 1991.