Wave of Christmas break-ins in southern Sweden

Police in southern Sweden have reported a wave of break-ins over the Christmas holiday. 39 burglaries were reported in Skåne and Belkinge with a further 10 in Halland on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Cash, jewelery and electronic goods were among the most popular items for thieves.

“Such items are easy to carry and to fence,” explained Calle Persson at Skåne police.

A family in southern Småland discovered on Christmas Eve that their Christmas presents had been opened by thieves.

The north of Sweden by contrast is reported to have had a relatively quiet festive period. Erik Kummu at Norrbotten police reports that so far only one break-in has been reported.

“It is cold and there is a lot of snow, so thieves are finding it hard to gain access to summer houses,” said Kummu.

Insurance companies confirm that reports of burglaries tend to increase around Christmas. Malou Sjörin, at insurance company Trygg Hansa, said that this was strange, as people tend to leave their homes empty more often and for longer periods over the summer.

“We are probably more careful to make our homes look lived-in when we are away for a longer period. In the winter time it is also more obvious from the outside if somebody is home,” Sjörin explained.

Sjörin warned people to hide their alcohol, especially in summer houses. If thieves can see alcohol through the window then the risk of a burglary increases. In apartments and houses thieves are mostly looking for valuables and household appliances.

Light timers and movement detectors in the garden have also proved effective to combat burglars, Sjörin said.