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Young Swedish girls in home invasion horror

TT/The Local/rm · 21 Nov 2011, 11:34

Published: 21 Nov 2011 11:34 GMT+01:00

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”The girls are in shock and have been taken to hospital,” said police spokesperson Stefan Gustafsson to news agency TT.

The two girls, who are sisters and both under 15 years of age, were at home alone when the burglars struck. After being locked in together in a bathroom, one of them managed to alert the police on a mobile phone.

When the girl spoke to the police she didn't know whether the perpetrators were still in the house, but when the officers arrived shortly after, the thieves had scarpered. They are currently being sought by police.

According to the officers, one of the girls was ”partly tied up” and had been exposed to some violence but neither had sustained any serious physical injuries.

Police are still not clear on what might have been removed from the house in connection with the burglary or if there was anything specific that the robbers were after. Neither are they aware of any specific threat against the family.

Story continues below…

”We can't say anything about the details. It is way too early,” said Gustafsson.

A preliminary investigation has been launched, classifying the offence as attempted aggravated robbery and unlawful imprisonment.

TT/The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:13 November 21, 2011 by Opinionfool
Let's start with the obvious question, "where were the parents?" Two girls under-15 were left alone in the house have the parents no sense. As they aren't twins, we can surmise that as even The Local would have reported it, one of the girls must be several years below 15 and one suspects that the older isn't close that age.

But there are several oddities here as usual. The girls are locked *in* the bathroom. Pretty funny bathroom then as every one I've ever used only has provision for locking others *out*. Then there's the "partly tied up" business. The thieves must be of the bungling "Home Alone" type. If they started to tie her up before she ended up in the bathroom why not do the obvious thing and check if either girl had a mobile phone with them. As we know every child must have its mobile in utero, or maybe the parents leave a mobile in the bathroom for eventualities such as this.

And throughout there's no mention of the parents. They'd be the ones to know what was missing. All very odd and I have my suspicions as to what went on.
15:39 November 21, 2011 by Douglas Garner
Children start to babysit as early as 12, so there is nothing odd about them being home alone. As most Swedish bathrooms swing outwards, the door could easily have been blocked from the outside.
17:26 November 21, 2011 by skogsbo
ours has locks on either side, as originally it wasn't a bathroom and you lock it when you leave it's the only way to hold the door shut, old style lock where a BIG key is also the handle.

They probably thought the house was empty, paniced and decide they need to lock them away, but because they were or are young girls, they had some heart and did want to tie them up where they would suffer? Plus, perhaps because they were young girls they didn't want to physically search them for mobiles, theif with a heart?
17:58 November 21, 2011 by Opinionfool
Just because people do leave their under-age children alone or permit them to babysit (either at home or for others) does not make it right, neither does it make it legal. English law is vague about the age when children can be left. Basically it amounts to if you leave them at home and nothing happens then you are okay; if you leave them at home and anything happens then you are on the way to gaol. (There are regular news reports from there where parents have left children and a fire or a break-in has happened and then the parents are prosecuted.) Child abandonment (or in the US reckless endangerment) is usually how the parents are prosecuted.

I don't have children of an age where this matters so I'm not clued up on the law here in Sweden. But given the existence of the children's ombudsman I would suspect that the situation is tighter than England. The English child-care charity NSPCC publishes some useful guidelines at http://www.nspcc.org.uk/help-and-advice/for-parents-and-carers/positive-parenting/leaving-children-home-alone/leaving-children-home-alone_wda72908.html might be worth some wayward Swedish parents reading it.
20:38 November 21, 2011 by Douglas Garner
Opinionfool... at what age did your parents start to TRUST you? In many states, we send kids to babysitting lessons and they can get a certificate to babysit at 12. Children come home to empty houses regularly as early as 9 or 10. The cases of abandonment and abuse you refer to are usually byYOUNG ADULTS not young babysitters, although a nanny or two have made the news in recent years.
22:24 November 21, 2011 by Bushyblondehead
Normal day in that city.
01:26 November 22, 2011 by Grokh
whoever goes into someones house to steal should be beaten up and spend a lifetime in a wheel chair, the mental shock caused by such invasion of what is regarded as a safe space is horrible.

and telling them it could have been worst will just make it worse.

ive no idea of what i would do if someone walked into my house like that and i wouldnt feel safe until they ceased to exist.

this kind of invasion is close to rape and in same cases end up in rape and murder.

ive no pity for whatever bad things come to criminals who do such a thing.
05:12 November 22, 2011 by Harry®
Always get suspicious when no description is given by Politically correct police! Or a "news" paper that won't report it
08:14 November 22, 2011 by skogsbo
judging by what you read in the news and that I've witnessed through life, many 12 year olds are more mature than many adults, including many parents. Giving a young teen a taste of childcare in a very controlled situation, might give them an idea of the work and commitment involved and help reduce teen pregnancy. At what age? it depends on the child, no adult would trust a 12yr old, unless they knew that child very well, so I'm sure in these cases it's fine.
08:44 November 22, 2011 by Kublai
And the description of the perpetrators is.....??????

I hold media partly responsible for all robberies, rapes and murders in Sweden because of their protection of criminals. I would rather help a wounded rat than a journalist in trouble.
11:29 November 22, 2011 by Opinionfool
@Douglas Garner

I was a "latch key kid" from the age of 7! My parents had low paid jobs that had them leaving the house before I walked to school and returning after I was back home. It wasn't from *trust* but simple economic expediency. I guess they grew to trust me because I didn't organise parties and orgies while they were out. I was always home when they returned from work --- even if I had been all over the place visiting friend's who lived in the opposite direction from school. But none of that makes any difference, they were lucky, I was lucky that nothing happened. Had there been an incident (and I lived at the time in a place where a serial child abductor/murderer was operating) they would have been distraught and then prosecuted for abandoning me on a daily basis.

Similarly it matters not that 12 year olds are given training in babysitting. It would be reckless of both sets of parents to allow a *child* that age to look after another child.

Films like the Home Alone franchise have glamorised the lone child at home, forgottten by parents, but living on cunning and wits to defeat criminals.


It's not that 12 year olds are more mature than adults, it's that those "adults" didn't themselves grow up.
11:57 November 22, 2011 by ppaf

I think the home alone connection is a stretch :) not sure that's what people think...

But really you're not a child psychologist and you have no data to back any of your claims...


Then I am happy you're neither a journalist, judge nor lawmaker :) maybe you would find a place like Burma or Sudan a little more to your taste in justice...
12:13 November 22, 2011 by Grokh

No thanks there is no such thing as justice in any of those places.

and although i speak out of pure hatred towards criminals i am very logical when it comes to the reality of things, i wish they would pay heavily for their crimes but only because of the lack of spine in the Swedish justice system.

No they shouldnt have their hands cut off or anything like that but they should get more than a slap in the wrist and a week in jail.

They have to be taken to trial and sentenced to several years in jail for what they did and could have done considering the situation.

i mean if you break into a bank and dont steal anything and walk away you still get thrown in jail for breaking into a bank.

its not hard to not be a criminal in sweden, so those who do choose that lifestyle should have to pay the consequences.

And you know nothing about me to judge if i would be a good lawmaker or judge.

If you judge people for thinking criminals are stupid and should disappear in the heat of the moment then im glad you are not a judge nor a lawmaker :p
13:19 November 22, 2011 by ppaf

Hej, I am also glad I am not a judge or lawmaker as well :)

But to think "criminals" are stupid in general, is just disingenuous. You clearly seem more rational than I gave you credit for so just contemplate for a moment the idea that 'violence' is no response to 'violence' in terms of fixing the underlying causes.

As you said these events are traumatizing. In some cases they may open up or predispose the victims to future acts of similar violence... meaning some of these victims may at some point, if they do not cope properly and positively with such events, develop a propensity towards aggression themselves... and then your answer would be to "beat them up and put them in a wheelchair for the rest of their lives"?

It is tempting to think of "criminals" as a pure form of existence, void of past and social context, rendering the concept easier to hate. But punishing violent behavior in the same way we condemn it just seems like the kind of Ferris Wheel I don't really want to be on.

As someone wrote here, their behavior was not the worst it could have been, and somehow the fact that there was no violent action towards the girls and such, absolutely has to be taken into consideration as an attenuating factor... otherwise we would be placing the value on material objects and people's physical integrity on the same level.
14:23 November 22, 2011 by Opinionfool

"you're not a child psychologist ..."

Firstly how do you know that? You have no data to back up that claim.


"and you have no data to back any of your claims..."

What I need to be a child pyschologist to make the claim that I was a latch key kid from age 7 and that my parents left me alone and to get myself to/from school every weekday! And during a period when a child abductor/murderer was operating in the town. Wow, it's no wondered I'm as messed up as I am then.
16:30 November 22, 2011 by Douglas Garner
Opinionfool.... you are clearly letting your own fears color your view of the situation. Most parents in the world would agree that not only can children can take care of themselves for a spell after school, and that more responsible children can care for others. Additionally, as a teacher, parent, and former trained and licensed foster parent I would say that it is an important part of their development and teaches self reliance and allows them to demonstrate responsibility.

There are always bad people out there, but they don't hide behind every tree. A responsible parent will teach kids to keep the door shut and locked if there are problems in the immediate area. Your logic would forbid the child from going out to play under any circumstances!
17:26 November 22, 2011 by Opinionfool
@ppaf #14

"just contemplate for a moment the idea that 'violence' is no response to 'violence' in terms of fixing the underlying causes"

If anyone injures his neighbor, whatever he has done must be done to him: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. As he has injured the other, so he is to be injured. Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a man must be put to death. (Leviticus 24:19-21, New International Version, 1984)

Skadar någon sin näsata, skall man göra med honom som had har gjort: bruten lem

för bruten lem, öga för öga, tand för tand. Samma skada som han had vållat en annan skall tillfogas honom själv. Den som slår ihjäl ett djur skall ersätta det, men den som slår ihjäl en människa skall själv dödas. (Tredje Mosesboken, Biblen 2000)

An ancient tenet that still operates today as the basis for all punititive justice.

@Douglas Garner

Possibily. But in fact I'm after parents clearly understanding the risks they are imposing on their offspring. And in the case of this specific story have asked "where were the parents", as these people are noticably absent from all the press coverage (including Göteborg Posten).

As to bad people hiding behind every tree take a look at this from http://www.thelocal.se/37356/20111115/ some commenters did indeed argue that kids should be locked inside and not allowed out. (You'll also notice that I argued there *against* lock-down.)
05:35 November 23, 2011 by rrgw
Grokh, I totally agree with you. Some people in this forum are forgetting who the victims of this incident are.... yes, those children and their parents, regardless of the reason why the kids were home alone. Some coments sound like they are blaming the parents for this attack to a family's privacy and making excuses for the perpetrators, or better put, for the animals who did that. The fact that I have to run some errands and leave my house for 30 minutes, does not give any criminal the right to break into my house and attack my children. Just because one of the girls was physically abused and beaten makes me think of what Grokh said in his/her comment " whoever goes into someones house to steal should be beaten up and spend a lifetime in a wheel chair, the mental shock caused by such invasion of what is regarded as a safe space is horrible"....If i was the parent and find out who did that to my children, those bastards would not have hands to roll their wheelchairs!
19:55 November 23, 2011 by Opinionfool

"Some people in this forum are forgetting who the victims of this incident are.... yes, those children and their parents, "

I'm not forgetting the victims (the girl's). And yes I do believe that the parents have some culpability here. None of the media reports (not only the one here) make no mention of the parents at all. This was clearly not a 30 minute pop to the shops and even if the children's location were in full view of the parents during their outage let me say two words: Madeline McCann (the 5 year old English girl snatched from her bed while her parents ate dinner at the adjacent restaurant). Parents need to evaluate the risks themselves and not force children to make that determination on the spot.
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