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Teen's brazen spree of crimes frustrates Linköping police

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08:56 CET+01:00
A 14-year-old in Linköping in central Sweden suspected in dozens of crimes continues to evade authorities in part because he is too young to be investigated by police.

As a 12-year-old, the boy committed his first known home burglary. Today, he is suspected for a wide range of crimes, including sexual molestation, threatening a witness during a trial, and several other cases of assault.

The teen is also believed to have participated in the beating of a player on Linköping's professional ice hockey team.

All told, authorities believe the 14-year-old is culpable for a total of 48 serious crimes in Linköping, reports the Östgöta Correspondenten newspaper.

His most common crime, according to police, is approaching people in the city and asking to see their mobile phones. He then takes the phone and leaves the area.

But the police are unable to take action against the budding career criminal because Swedish law prohibits them from investigating suspects younger than 15-years-old.

Instead, young offenders are the responsibility of social services

“We warned social services a year ago. But they haven't done enough,” Sofia Larsson of the Linköping police told the paper.

“The signal sent to other children and young people in Linköping is that ‘everyone' knows that this guy commits crimes but see that nothing happens.”

Niklas Borg, who heads the town's social welfare board said he is sure there is “reason for the social services office to be self critical”.

The head of the office, Eva Pettersson, remained tight lipped about the boy's case, however, pointing to Sweden's secrecy laws.

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