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Warning follows spate of fake police robberies

Swedish police have issued a warning via their website after criminals have been caught using false police identification to lure their way into people's homes before running away with cash and valuables.

A 23-year-old man was arrested after entering the home of a couple in their nineties in Sundsvall last September. Police say he is to be charged on Thursday with robbery and suspected fraud.

Using fake identity, he told the couple he was a policeman investigating break-ins in the area and asked to photograph valuable objects for documentation purposes.

Instead the man left with a number of items reported to be worth a substantial amount of money.

In a more recent incident in late December, two men in their 40’s tricked an 87-year-old woman from Trollbäcken, near Stockholm, into entering her home.

They asked to photograph jewellery, check the serial number of money and requested to loan her bank card.

Criminals have also been reported to telephone victims in advance to expect their arrival. They again claim they are required to photograph valuables after alleged robberies in the area.

Police have published advice on their website encouraging pensioners to be extra vigilant and take measures to ensure police identification is legitimate if they receive a knock at their door.

“Policemen and women that have contact with the elderly are clear to inform who they are,” the statement reads. “They would even encourage them to ensure that they are police personnel by calling 114 14.”

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PENSIONERS

Elderly Swedes arrested in Thailand for playing bridge

A game of bridge had an unexpected ending for 32 club members in Thailand, including three Swedes.

Elderly Swedes arrested in Thailand for playing bridge
Stock picture of playing cards. Photo: Ingvar Karmhed/SCANPIX

The bridge enthusiasts, the majority of them retirees, were arrested in Pattaya, Thailand, on Wednesday for the possession of too many unregistered playing cards, the BBC reported on Thursday.

The members of the bridge club were arrested under a law from 1935 that states that no card players are allowed to possess more than 120 playing cards at any given time.

Gambling is strictly forbidden in Thailand and police are cracking down on all games in which they suspect the nation's laws are being violated.

Although no money was found to indicated that the elderly bridge players were gambling, they were all arrested and held in custody for 12 hours before being released on bail on Thursday.

According to Thai news site Pattaya One, more than 50 law enforcement officers stormed in on the bridge club and seized computers, cards and a book containing bridge results. 

AFP reported that the 32 foreign nationals arrested included 12 Britons, three Norwegians, three Swedes, two Australians, a German, a Dane, a Canadian and a New Zealander.

All those arrested where fined 5,000 baht, the equivalent of around 1,200 Swedish kronor ($140).