Stowaway ‘mini thieves’ bag bus loot

A criminal network consisting of at least one person of very short stature is believed to be behind a recent spate of robberies on Swedish buses.

Police are advising travellers to avoid placing valuables in the luggage compartments of coaches amid suspicions that small thieves are being hidden inside large sports bags. The diminutive criminals emerge from the bags mid-journey before climbing back inside loaded with loot.

One woman travelling with Swebus from Västerås to Stockholm told police that she had watched as two men speaking poor English squeezed a very large, heavy bag into an already cramped baggage space despite the fact that there was an empty compartment towards the back of the bus.

On arriving at their destination, the men quickly left the bus, retrieved the bag and disappeared in a waiting vehicle.

When the woman checked her luggage, she was distressed to find that a camera, purse, portable hard drive and the packaging from an mp3 player had all mysteriously vanished. It is not known whether the thief in this case was a bantam adult or a child.

“It is very possible that a small person is being placed in a bag in order to search through the other bags. We have recently received several reports of thefts, including on the Västerås to Stockholm line,” said Swebus spokeswoman Pia Kråvall.

Police say they have been alerted to a number of similar luggage compartment robberies in other parts of the country.

Swebus is currently looking at ways to tighten security around its terminals, said Pia Kråvall.