Mystery car fires wreak havoc near Stockholm

Three, nearly simultaneous car fires broke out in three different locations north of Stockholm on Monday night, leaving police baffled and several passing motorists with flat tyres from road spikes left near the scenes of the fires.

Mystery car fires wreak havoc near Stockholm

Police were first alerted at 8.20pm about a car in flames at the Kymlinge link connecting the E18 and E4 motorways in Kista north of Stockholm.

Two people wearing masks were seen leaving the scene on a motorcycle or scooter. In addition, a number of caltrops – metal ‘crows’ feet’ designed to puncture car tyres – had been strewn out across the roadway in the vicinity of the burning car, disabling a number of passing vehicles.

Then, at 8.26pm, a report came of another burning car on the E4 motorway near the Järva interchange just north of Stockholm and about five kilometres from the first fire.

Witnesses reported seeing people fleeing the scene in another car shortly after the fire started. Caltrops were also left on the roadway, leaving a number passing cars with flat tyres.

“I thought, what an idiot, then someone jumped out and threw a bucket with something that looked like caltrops on the road,” one witness whose car suffered a flat tyre told Aftonbladet.

Finally, at 8.28pm, police were alerted to a third car fire near the Helenelund train station in Sollentuna, about eight kilometres north of the second fire.

However, at the third fire there were no reports of people leaving the scene and no caltrops were used.

As of late Monday night, police were still working out whether there was a connection between the three mysterious car fires, or if they may have been related to another crime.

“And we’ve really put a lot of energy into checking out every possible target in the area. No major crimes have occurred during the evening,” police spokesperson Ulf Lindgren told the TT news agency.

One theory is that the fires may have been related to a sort of “practice run” to see how police reacted ahead of some future planned crime.

“It’s hard to say. That’s pure speculation. It could be something like that or that they had planned to do something else, but broke off mid-operation for some reason,” said Lindgren.

TT/The Local/dl

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Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden.