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Swedish police 'return' stolen loot to criminal

TT/Clara Guibourg · 14 Aug 2011, 12:18

Published: 14 Aug 2011 12:18 GMT+02:00

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, 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.

Story continues below…

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.

TT/Clara Guibourg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:13 August 14, 2011 by Stickeroo
Some fine police work right there...*facepalm*
16:18 August 14, 2011 by micvau
The lack of policing common sense is how to deal with general crimes in Sweden chocks me. What's going to happen when the day comes when they have to deal with serious crime. they need to start getting seriously educated in crime procedures before real organized crime becomes out of hand. Swedish people need to understand that wanting to join the police force is not just about securing pension employment but also requires using their brain. Maybe watching CSI should become part of their curriculum. This is not the first crime that they messed up due to what they call 'UNFORTUNATE CIRCUMSTANCES'. If i used the same professionalism in my job that police use in their profession i would be fired with immediate effect.
17:25 August 14, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
Lol!! Crime pays
18:10 August 14, 2011 by jamesblish
Pay the man. Embarrassing story.
18:25 August 14, 2011 by johan rebel
The police is just another typical Swedish authorityy, all of whom consider it their mission to provide their employees with cushy jobts in which they put in only just enough overtime and night shifts to maximize their salaries and pensions, no more. Needless to say, the unions run the show, and well meaning cops straight out the academy are soon brought into line.

The army, navy and airforce are exactly the same, as I can regularly observe where I live.

With the entire Swedish criminal justice system geared to ignore the victims and pamper the crooks, the level of police incompetence is actually not the biggest problem.
19:05 August 14, 2011 by Frank Arbach
...imagine if the awful riots seen recently in the UK, were to happen here...??

It doesn't bear thinking about. Firstly, maybe the Swede police would run away - then any left behind would probably be helping the rioters carry off their loot..??
19:11 August 14, 2011 by play nice
" This year it's too late, there aren't any motors to buy,"

Very sad Sweden. Very sad indeed.
19:36 August 14, 2011 by conboy
I say it again the purpose of Swedish agencies is to employ ethnic Swedes. The politicians do not require them to carry out their statutory duties so long as the status quo is maintained!
20:30 August 14, 2011 by CarlBlack
The problem is the lack of simple responsibility in Sweden. If the police officer whose fault that was got these money drawn from his salary, police would be much more careful next time.
20:47 August 14, 2011 by StockholmSam
This is completely understandable and forgivable if it happened in July or August.
21:10 August 14, 2011 by lovedealer76
It's stoolen good or items not loot,i guess the writer have head too much of the looting word on the UK riot and decided its cool to use here,i'll say is not.

Definition of loot:(usually of large numbers of people during a violent event) to steal from shops and houses
21:35 August 14, 2011 by LCNY
It is a travesty that the Swedish police do not follow simple inventory procedures of property stolen or not. That includes proper storage facilities i.e. police evidence storage. This is a fundamental police procedure that should should be in place and conducted during any investigation. Someone needs to stand up and take responsibility. By the way, did the suspect sign for the van and its contents when released?
00:03 August 15, 2011 by ajs42548
My question is this... If the man was convicted of the crime, then why was he free to drive his van away? Why wasn't he in jail? What was his punishment? Also, the stolen property is still stolen property. So then why can't he be rearrested for possession of stolen property? At least they should be able to get back the property anyway.
05:37 August 15, 2011 by Luke R D
I see nothing out of the ordinary for Sweden here. What's all the fuss about?
15:01 August 15, 2011 by karex
Oh my, how embarrassing...
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