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Debt collectors take wrong people’s stuff

Two Swedish women are fighting uphill battles to reclaim their possessions after agents from Sweden's debt collection confiscated their items by mistake.

Debt collectors take wrong people's stuff

In one incident, agents from the Swedish Enforcement Administration (Kronofogden) forced their way into a storage facility but ended up taking the wrong person’s things.

In another incident, debt collectors simply emptied the wrong storage locker.

The first case involved a woman in Örkelljunga in southern Sweden who had swapped storage spaces with a neighbour who then moved away.

But what Aida Gazic, 30, didn’t know was that her neighbour had sizeable debts and was targeted by the debt collection agency for repossession.

One day, she came home to find a truck outside her building and discovered soon thereafter that her storage locker had been emptied.

“It was my stuff that I had in my former neighbour’s storage space. I had my children’s new scooters, Christmas decorations, an old computer and VCR and even a kiddie pool belonging to my friend,” Gazic told the local Helsingborg Dagblad newspaper.

Now she wants her things back, but the agency has told her told her to get in touch with her former neighbour.

“They want me to get proof from her that the stuff really is mine,” she told the paper.

“But she’s unreachable; she just doesn’t care.”

In a second incident, which took place just two weeks ago, the wrong possessions disappeared from Gun Persson’s storage facility in Valbo in eastern Sweden.

Clothes, shoes, collectible model cars, a number of other valuables were lost when the locker was emptied by debt collection agents by mistake and her possessions sent off to be recycled.

As it turns out, the debt collectors were supposed to have emptied the storage locker belonging to Persson’s neighbour, who had been evicted.

As the agency had requested help from the landlord, who in turn hired a contractor, it remains unclear exactly where the mix-up occured.

TT/The Local/dl

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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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