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Fredrik, 35, overjoyed as police find mountain bike stolen 12 years ago

Police in Gävle in eastern Sweden have recovered a mountain bike that was stolen from a student twelve years ago – in a town 1,350 kilometres further north.

Fredrik Sandqvist, 35, could hardly believe his ears when he received a phone call this week informing him that the bicycle, stolen shortly after he bought it in the spring of 1998, had now turned up in the lost and found department of a distant police station.

“I was really astonished when they called,” he told local newspaper Piteå-Tidningen.

Police were able to identify the owner since he had his personal identification number engraved into the frame back when he snapped up the brand new bike for 2,500 kronor ($335).

Sandqvist’s locked bicycle was snatched from outside the wall of a building in Överkalix, a town of 1,000 people near the Arctic Circle where he was studying computer technology at the time.

Now living in Oskarshamn, 500 kilometres south of Gävle, Sandqvist has decided not to renew acquaintances with his former pride and joy.

“I’ve decided to donate it to a charitable organisation in the town,” he said.

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OFFBEAT

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim

Police on the island of Gotland removed a public sculpture from the Galgberget nature reserve near Visby on the grounds that it is just too creepy.

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim
The gallows at Galgeberget. Photo: Artifex/WikiCommons
According to local news site Hela Gotland, someone was out for a stroll on Galgeberget (the Gallows Hill) on Wednesday when they saw what they thought was a body hanging after a suicide. Local police were contacted but when they went to investigate they instead found a sculpture by artist Jessica Lundeberg. 
 
The artwork, entitled ‘The Watcher in the Woods’, is a partially transparent plate sculpture that looks like a spooky little girl. 
 
 
Despite discovering that the suspected suicide victim was actually artwork, police determined that Lundeberg’s piece could scare others and thus took the sculpture down. 
 
“It was decided that if it were to remain, more people would likely be frightened in the same way,” Gotland police spokesman Ayman Aboulaich told Radio P4 Gotland. 
 
Lundeberg told Hela Gotland that the sculpture has been at Galgeberget since a public art project last summer and that this was the first time it had caused any concern. She said ‘The Watcher in the Woods’ was the only piece that was allowed to remain after the end of the project. But now it is there no more. 
 
 
Lundeberg has taken the sculpture back to her studio. While she hopes it will eventually return to Galgeberget, the artist told Hela Gotland it seems unlikely.  
 
She said that the sculpture was damaged by police. 
 
“It was ragged, dismantled and broken. I was horrified when I saw it,” she said. 
 
Police have reportedly promised to pay any necessary repair costs.
 
Although the person who reported the sculpture to the police has not spoken with the media, their jump to conclusions could perhaps be attributed to the nature reserve’s macabre history. Galgeberget is still home to gallows that were used to hang criminals for centuries. The last execution to be held at the site was in 1845, according to Hela Gotland
 
 
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