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Police slammed over helicopter heist

The Swedish police made several serious mistakes in connection with the helicopter heist robbery in Västberga in southern Stockholm last autumn, according to former police superintendent Eric Rönnegård.

Police slammed over helicopter heist

Rönnegård argued that poor surveillance by the police helicopters was not the only mistake committed. A report on the decisions taken by police during the first day after the alarm was sounded reveals serious deficiencies within police command, Rönnegård claimed.

Rönnegård has himself worked as a commanding officer within the Stockholm police force and has significant experience of how operations of this kind should be led.

It took one hour and 19 minutes for the police to initiate their action plan for serious exceptional incidents and for police to receive clearance for the use of back-up arms.

It took even longer, over three hours, before the decision was taken to check Sweden’s borders.

The report also details that the police hotline for tips from the public remained in chaos 37 hours after the robbery.

“The commanding officer took the decision too late. He waited too long to activate the action plan for serious exceptional incidents considering the chain of events, which just ran out of control,” Eric Rönnegård said to the TT news agency.

The Stockholm County Police Commissioner Carin Götblad declined to comment on the criticism on Tuesday. She confirmed however that the police plan to conduct a review of the incident and the work of the police when the investigation is concluded.

The Västberga cash depot was hit in the early hours of Wednesday September 23rd when several powerful explosions were heard.

A helicopter landed on the roof of the depot, managed by the G4S security firm, and men entered the building to seize a large quantity of cash. The robbers then made their escape in the helicopter with the police looking on.

Police helicopters had meanwhile been grounded due to a bomb scare – the gang had left a bag with the word BOMB inscribed on the side at the helicopter station on Värmdö in eastern Stockholm.

The police have since made a series of arrests but none of the suspects have yet been charged with an offence.

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ROBBERY

Man held over armed jewellery store robbery

A man was detained Sunday morning on suspicion of involvement in a violent jewellery store robbery which left three people with gunshot wounds.

Man held over armed jewellery store robbery

“The 24-year-old was taken in for questioning overnight and was later detained,” police spokesman Nils Norling told news agency TT.

The robbery took place in broad daylight on a busy shopping street in Ängelholm, southern Sweden on Saturday.

Police described the robbers as “dangerous and desperate”.

“They were shooting wildly. One man was shot in the stomach,” said regional police spokesman Calle Persson, who added that is unusual for robbers to take aim at members of the public.

Witnesses said they saw three robbers flee the scene on a yellow moped, which they left by nearby railway tracks, reportedly continuing their escape in a dark Audi.

Norling did not want to comment on the 24-year-old’s involvement in the robbery or say whether the police were still chasing other people.

“We believe there were three culprits. We can say that much,” he said.

“Currently we will not comment on what has been said during questioning. We will question him further throughout the day,” Norling added on Sunday morning.

The police received a large amount of statements from witnesses and were following up on the many tips that came in after the robbery.

“We are still keen for more people to get in touch,” said Norling.

Calle Persson said that four reports had been filed after the robbery as three people were shot and wounded and one other person was nearly shot.

Two men were taken to a hospital in Helsingborg but did not sustain any serious physical injuries. Another man was treated by ambulance staff at the site of the robbery.

The armed robbers escaped with some gold objects but the value of the loot was still unclear on Sunday.

The robbers are suspected of attempted murder.

TT/The Local/nr

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