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Bus driver convicted for sleeping passenger theft

A Stockholm bus driver has been sentenced to community service after having been caught robbing a sleeping passenger on a night bus.

Bus driver convicted for sleeping passenger theft

The 19-year-old girl had fallen asleep on the bus to Tyresö in southern Stockholm following a night out and discovered after alighting that she had been robbed.

“You just wouldn’t expect a bus driver to do this,” the girl said to the Dagens Nyheter daily.

The entire incident was caught on transport operator SL’s surveillance film.

The images show how the driver takes the teenager’s mobile phone, empties her purse and then wakes her up and helps her off the bus.

He then sits down in the driver’s seat and proceeds to count his take.

The girl’s mother called the bus company, telling them that her daughter had probably been drunk and carelessly mislaid her things. The police meanwhile informed the family the same day that the investigation had been closed.

But after persistence from the girl’s mother, an inspector at Nacka police requested the surveillance film from the bus company and was thus able to solve the case within a matter of days.

During a search of the bus driver’s home the police found more computers and mobile phones, prompting suspicions that the man had developed a system of thieving.

The man was on Friday sentenced to probation and ordered to complete community service.

The bus driver was immediately fired after the story of the theft was discovered.

“After the service contractor (bus company) looked at surveillance film of the theft the decision was made to dismiss this driver immediately. So he has not been driving buses since,” said Johan Nordgren at Stockholm transport operator SL.

The man was employed by a bus company that runs the bus services on behalf of SL.

The driver had no previous criminal record, according to Johan Nordgren.

“When employing drivers it is routine to search the criminal records register. But I understand that this person had no prior record and so you can slip through the checks, he said.

Johan Nordgren underlined that he was unaware of any previous cases where drivers steal from their passengers.

“It just should not happen. It’s really important that you feel comfortable on SL services,” he said.

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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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