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Man tries to rob cashless Swedish bank

A bank robber in the making on Monday morning tried to force bank personnel in central Stockholm to hand him money, before having to leave empty-handed because the office did not deal with cash.

Man tries to rob cashless Swedish bank

Stockholm police were alerted to the attempted robbery at 10.32am, and are in the process of gathering CCTV footage as well as interviewing witnesses and securing forensic evidence.

“A single culprit, male, entered the bank with a gun-like object and threatened the staff,” police spokeswoman Towe Hägg told The Local.

“The staff were not hurt physically but they are of course in shock.”

She said the man left the bank at Östermalmstorg in central Stockholm on foot. Hägg added that it was not unheard of for bank robbers to work alone, rather than in a team.

“While it’s the Crime Prevention Council (Brottsförebyggande rådet – Brå) that handles our crime statistics, I perceive that it can be both,” Hägg said.

SEE ALSO: Get the latest exchange rates and transfer money on The Local’s Currency page

In 2012, 21 bank robberies were reported in Sweden, which was less than half of the reported number of incidents in 2011. It was the lowest level ever measured since statistics started to be kept in 1975, according to Brå.

“Practically all robberies of banks and valuables in transit are reported to the police,” wrote Brå on its website, stating that for other types of robbery, including muggings, the report rate was lower. Overall last year, there were over 9,000 robberies.

“About 1 percent of the population of Sweden are victims of robbery every year, as shown by various crime victim surveys,” Brå stated on its website.

“Some population groups that are particularly vulnerable are youths in the big city areas, shop employees and taxi drivers.”

Ann Törnkvist

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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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