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Swedish police 'return' stolen loot to criminal

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12:18 CEST+02:00
A van full of stolen goods, including a boat motor, previously confiscated by police in Sweden was returned to the man convicted of trying to move the items out of the country following his trial.

, including a boat motor, was stopped by police before shipping off to the Baltic. But the police forgot to empty the vehicle, and after the trial, the sentenced man could pick up the van and drive off with the stolen cargo.

In April 2010 Kjell Eriksson and his son Joakim, from Närke in southern Sweden, received an unpleasant surprise upon discovering that their boat house had been broken into, and their boat's motor stolen.

"When we got there, the boat motor was missing. They'd cut the lock and wires. They must've had some sort of crane to lift the motor, so it was organised,"

Joakim told the local Nerikes Allehanda newspaper.

While most boat motor thefts are never resolved, police investigating the crime caught a break when they intercepted a van heading to the Baltic states.

A man was convicted of handling stolen goods, and the Eriksson family was all set to have their motor returned to them.

There was just one problem: the police never unloaded the stolen goods from the van in which they were found.

So when the convicted man went to pick up his van after the trial, he was able to drive off again - stolen cargo still in tow.

"We haven't been able to use the boat in two summers. This year it's too late, there aren't any motors to buy," Joakim told the newspaper.

"It's a shame that the police don't care. If I'd been in their shoes I would've paid quickly and got it over and done with," said Kjell, who has demanded 109,000 kronor ($16,500) for the stolen goods, and as reimbursement for the period of time he has been unable to use his boat.

He will receive 78,050 kronor plus interest, a decision he's been waiting to receive for a year.

The Nynäshamn police, who made the confiscation, blame "unfortunate circumstances" for failing to remove the stolen goods from the convicted man's van, wrote Nerikes Allehanda.

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