The shopkeeper, who was armed with a drill and knives, suspected that the teens were behind two previous break-ins at the store in Årsta, southern Stockholm.
When the trio was in the man’s shop in late January, the shopkeeper managed to capture and detain the teens with the help of three other men. He then took them to the cellar of the shop, where he kept them for ten hours as he tried to force a confession from them.
The boys, aged 14, 15, and 16, feared for their lives during the ordeal. One of them reported that the shopkeeper placed a wet towel over his face and poured a bucket of water over his head.
The court considered the abuse was “close to pure torture”, according to the Mitti newspaper.
On Monday, the shopkeeper was sentenced to two years in prison for kidnapping, aggravated coercion, robbery, and abuse. One of the man’s accomplices was also sentenced to two years and four months, while a third was sentenced to community service. The fourth suspect is awaiting a the verdict of a psychiatric evaluation before he is sentenced.