The 51-year-old was just sitting down to breakfast at the counter of her small antique shop in Visby on Friday morning when three teenage boys came storming in.
“Two of them had knives and the other had an axe,” Ronström Lundgren told The Local.
Expecting a middle-aged woman to be easy prey, the masked youngsters began screaming at her to hand over her money. But the thieves never got anywhere near her limited stores of cash.
“I got so angry I started screaming right back at them, like a mother in a serious rage. I’m not in any way rich and when I realized that my livelihood was at stake I was ready to fight for it.”
If the boys had been caught unawares by her verbal attack, they were even less prepared for what came next.
“I grabbed my butter knife from the breakfast table and started waving it in the air as fast as I could, mainly so that they wouldn’t see it for what it was – just a normal butter knife.”
The ploy worked. The boys – clearly rattled – began edging towards the exit.
“They had come in shouting: ‘hand over the money, you old cow’. But they were amateurs, and what they didn’t know is that I am also a singer. With my powerful lungs, I could have harangued them all day if I had to.”
Thoroughly outmaneuvered, the boys decided to make good their escape. The knife-wielding shop owner followed them all the way out the door.
“I don’t know what got into me but I shouted after them: ‘If you want my money you’d better be prepared to pay tax on it, you little brats!'”.
But at that stage the thieves no longer had any interest in her money. With their plan having seriously backfired, the boys tried to slip unnoticed into the crowds on Visby’s winding medieval streets.
Ulla Ronström Lundgren meanwhile went in to the hairdresser next door and called the police. The boys, presumably wishing they hadn’t got out of bed at all that morning, were soon arrested and taken into custody.
But despite her ordeal, Ronström Lundgren did not even close the shop for the day.
“No, I stayed open. Even though I was shaking all over, I was determined not to let them damage my business in any way.”