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ROBBERY

Helicopter heist suspect confesses to theft

A 31-year-old man charged with playing a role in a spectacular robbery at a Stockholm cash depot last year has admitted he was involved in the heist.

Helicopter heist suspect confesses to theft

The man surprised prosecutors by confessing that he was part of last September’s spectacular robbery, in which a helicopter was used to remove cash from the depot in Västberga, a suburb in the west of Stockholm.

“But he is only admitting aggravated theft,” the man’s lawyer Peter Lindqvist said.

“According to the plan presented to him, no people would be present in the depot, and it would consequently not be a question of burglary.”

Footage from the depot’s security cameras shows the man wearing white shoes and carrying an automatic shotgun. The 31-year-old insists that the gun was not usable, and he only carried it as a way of delaying the police, who could see live footage from inside the depot.

The 31-year-old also admits to smashing the building’s glass roof.

The man claims he took part in the robbery to pay off a debt. He claimed not to know the two accomplices who were with him in the depot. He also claimed not to recognize the pilot as the man now sitting next to him in the courtroom.

Peter Lindqvist said his client does not want to reveal who recruited him to the robbery. He claims to have been brought in at a late stage, to replace someone else.

“My client did not see any people on the premises. He was distressed to find out that there were people in there and is upset that they are feeling bad,” Lindqvist said.

The man’s blood was found in the depot on several tools used in the robbery.

The penalty for aggravated theft is lower than that for aggravated robbery.

Until now, all those charged with the crime have pleaded not guilty.

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IKEA

Ikea to test cash-free store in Sweden

Swedish furniture giant Ikea is going to use its Gävle location to test out whether it can go completely cash-free nationwide.

Ikea to test cash-free store in Sweden
Ikea will go cash-free throughout Sweden if the test is a success. Photo: TT
Ikea said that customers in Gävle, an eastern city best known for its giant straw Christmas goat, were strongly in favour of abandoning cash. 
 
“In our surveys, the vast majority of customers have said that cash payments are no longer important. Today we use a fair amount of resources on handling cash but we’d prefer to use them on something else,” Patric Burstein, the head of customer relations at the Gävle store, told Dagens Nyheter. 
 
Ikea said that its cashless test would begin in Gävle on October 1st. If all goes well, the company plans to eliminate cash payments in all of its Swedish locations. 
 
Department store Åhléns is also testing the idea of going cashless, with three of its locations currently not accepting cash payments. 
 
Swedes use their debit cards three times as frequently as most Europeans and with the popularity of smartphone payment apps like Swish, it has been predicted that Sweden will be completely cash-free by 2030.  
 
The move to ditch cash also has its naysayers, however, with some Swedes worried about the effects on rural areas, pensioners – and personal integrity.
 
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