“The methods have become considerably more sophisticated this summer,” police spokesman Åke Granberg told the newspaper. “They are operating in gangs of three to four people: the first person takes the bag, then passes it on to another before the next person runs out to a waiting car.”
Police have noticed that foreign tourists are being particularly targeted this summer.
“We have had larger numbers of wealthy tourists coming in and they are often the ones who are chosen by pickpockets and baggage thieves.
“This type of victim requires a certain amount of attention from us, in that we have to spend time sorting out passports rather than chasing the bad guys. It’s very frustrating,” Granberg told Svenska Dagbladet.
Police are calling on passengers to keep a close eye on their possessions to prevent a further escalation.
“There are indications that much of this is the work of a Spanish-speaking gang that we recognize from last summer, but it is very likely that there are also other groups involved,” said Granberg.