“He must have been in the compartment all night,” Lundholm, 68, told The Local.
“When I got on the train I locked the compartment from the inside.”
Seven hours later, just before the train rolled into Central Station in Stockholm, Lundholm got the shock of his life. He turned on the light and saw a leg sticking out from under his bed.
“I shouted, ‘what the hell is this?’ and a man climbed out from under the bed.”
Lundholm found that he had shared the compartment with a young man in his twenties. The non-paying passenger did not seem dangerous and the Malmö man’s initial reaction was that the he was short of cash and had slipped under the bed to avoid detection by a conductor.
“He told me, ‘don’t worry, don’t worry’, and even though I was very surprised I thought he was fine.”
It was first when the man left the compartment to disembark from the train that Lundholm checked his wallet.
“He only took cash, not the entire wallet. He got 1,700 kronor in total.”
He then revealed a detail that suggested the young thief was no novice.
“I drive a bus here in Malmo. One time I was given a fake 50 kronor note. I always keep it in my wallet to show other bus drivers so they know what a fake note looks like. That single note was left under the bed when the man had gone,” said Lundholm with a hint of grudging admiration for the discerning thief.
When he realised what had happened Lundholm gave chase. But the man had already disappeared into the throng of early morning commuters.
He found a security guard and explained the events of the previous few minutes. Together they located a conductor who, never having come across anything quite like it before, found the story hard to believe.
“I could understand him. It was like a dream. I couldn’t believe it was true either.
“One thing is certain: I am never going to travel on a night train again,” said Lundholm.
A spokesman for train operator SJ said that stowaways on night trains were very unusual. He added that the company would investigate the incident.