Two more held as police look for second pilot
TT/David Landes · 19 Nov 2009, 12:40
Published: 19 Nov 2009 12:40 GMT+01:00
- New arrest in helicopter heist probe (27 Oct 09)
- Police probe Serb ties to helicopter heist (29 Sep 09)
- Helicopter robbery - how it happened (24 Sep 09)
- Stockholm cash depot hit by helicopter heist (23 Sep 09)
The two men, aged 23 and 31, were arrested earlier this week in separate incidents, with remand hearings expected to take place on Friday afternoon in the Södertörn district court.
The younger of the two suspects has previously been convicted of serious fraud, while the 31-year-old has been found guilty of serious drugs crimes.
Three other men questioned in the case have been released, but remain suspected of involvement in the robbery.
Meanwhile, police sources tell the TT news agency that the 34-year-old helicopter pilot currently being detained on suspicions of flying the helicopter during the heist may not have actually been at the controls at the time the actual robbery took place.
Instead, police now believe his involvement was limited to having stolen the helicopter used in the crime from the heliport in Mellingeholm near Norrtälje, north of Stockholm.
Not only was the 34-year-old familiar with the area, but he had also trained at the Mellingeholm airfield in order to receive his pilot’s licence. In addition, he had also rented the helicopter in question on several occasions for his own recreational flying.
After stealing the chopper early that September morning, the 34-year-old is thought to have flown to the Stora Skuggan area of northern Djurgården, on the outskirts of downtown Stockholm.
From there, police believe, another pilot took over and flew the helicopter to the cash depot, where several men rappelled down onto the roof and made their way into the building by smashing a skylight.
The 34-year-old pilot then gave himself an alibi by getting into a car accident in the nearby Frihamnen neighbourhood at the same time the robbers were looting the cash depot.
The other driver in the allegedly staged wreck is a known “troublemaker”, according to TT’s source.
The source added that one of the first men remanded into custody for the helicopter robbery had made a number of telephone calls to a 41-year-old man, currently residing in Serbia, who was previously known as Stockholm’s ‘gangster king’.
The telephone calls were monitored by police and make up a significant portion of the evidence in the case.
Among other things, the conversations included discussion of how those involved in the robbery were highly irritated at the pilot for being too “blabby”.