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OFFBEAT

Stockholm TV thieves in robbery blunder

Police had the last laugh when two men robbed a Stockholm-area electronics store in broad daylight, with witnesses recording every wrong move the thieves made.

Stockholm TV thieves in robbery blunder

When two men broke into an electronics store in Märsta, north of Stockholm, things went awry for the pilferers from the get-go.

The moment they busted open the store’s front door with a crowbar at 7.30am on Saturday, security alarms sounded and attracted bamboozled residents who were soon on the scene.

“People have filmed and taken pictures,” Peter Eriksson of the Norrort police told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

The residents took a series of pictures and videos of the thieves as they went about their business wearing yellow tracksuits, ill-fitting masks, and sunglasses.

The thieves had even tried to protect the anonymity of their car by covering the registration plates with blue plastic bags from state-run liquor store Systembolaget.

However, things were soon to take a turn for the worse for the robbers as they approached their getaway vehicle with their loot – four wide-screen televisions.

“It was a real bungle. Their car was too small – they didn’t have the space for everything they’d taken,” the officer explained.

But the problems didn’t end there for the two men, as the carefully placed plastic bags on the registration plates blew off as the car made its escape.

Alert witnesses managed to snap pictures of the registration plates, which they sent on to police.

“They are known to police. The investigation is looking good,” Ericsson said.

The two men are suspected of burglary.

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PROTESTS

Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

The chairwoman of the Police Association West Region has said that police special tactics, known as Särskild polistaktik or SPT, should be available across Sweden, to use in demonstrations similar to those during the Easter weekend.

Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

SPT, (Särskild polistaktik), is a tactic where the police work with communication rather than physical measures to reduce the risk of conflicts during events like demonstrations.

Tactics include knowledge about how social movements function and how crowds act, as well as understanding how individuals and groups act in a given situation. Police may attempt to engage in collaboration and trust building, which they are specially trained to do.

Katharina von Sydow, chairwoman of the Police Association West Region, told Swedish Radio P4 West that the concept should exist throughout the country.

“We have nothing to defend ourselves within 10 to 15 metres. We need tools to stop this type of violent riot without doing too much damage,” she said.

SPT is used in the West region, the South region and in Stockholm, which doesn’t cover all the places where the Easter weekend riots took place.

In the wake of the riots, police unions and the police’s chief safety representative had a meeting with the National Police Chief, Anders Tornberg, and demanded an evaluation of the police’s work. Katharina von Sydow now hopes that the tactics will be introduced everywhere.

“This concept must exist throughout the country”, she said.

During the Easter weekend around 200 people were involved in riots after a planned demonstration by anti-Muslim Danish politician Rasmus Paludan and his party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), that included the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Police revealed on Friday that at least 104 officers were injured in counter-demonstrations that they say were hijacked by criminal gangs intent on targeting the police. 

Forty people were arrested and police are continuing to investigate the violent riots for which they admitted they were unprepared. 

Paludan’s application for another demonstration this weekend was rejected by police.

In Norway on Saturday, police used tear gas against several people during a Koran-burning demonstration after hundreds of counter-demonstrators clashed with police in the town of Sandefjord.

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