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The curious case of Sweden's disappearing police car

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The curious case of Sweden's disappearing police car
A file photo of a police car, not the disappearing vehicle in question. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
12:40 CEST+02:00
How exactly does a police car manage to disappear for weeks on end without anyone noticing? It's exactly that question that Gothenburg police have been attempting to answer in recent days.

Thankfully, the mystery has now been solved – though the conclusion has proven to be somewhat embarrassing for the hapless officer who was driving it.

It seems one member of Gothenburg's police force was so excited about his forthcoming holiday that he parked the car in a parking garage in Nordstan, next to the city's central station, before promptly going on vacation and forgetting about it.

An inventory of police vehicles later showed the car to be missing, and officers were left scratching their heads over where it had gone. Until journalists at local tabloid GT rang Erik Nord, chief executive of Greater Gothenburg police, to ask him about the incident.

Previously unaware of the disappearance, Nord investigated and within hours had nailed down the car's whereabouts.

“The officer probably walked back to his workplace, or perhaps he was given a lift, I actually don't know,” Nord explained to GT.

“There wasn't any damage, so there's no crime to investigate,” he added.

Police believe the disappearing car had been sitting in the garage for a number of weeks and was left unnoticed because the officers who usually drive it were on holiday.

To add insult to injury, the disappearance could result in a hefty parking bill: the parking garage charges 30 kronor ($3.5) per hour to house vehicles, according to GT.

Perhaps the only positive is that the maximum daily cost of parking in the garage is capped at 210 kronor ($24), so things could have been even worse. Though maybe not for the officer who forgot about the car, once his red-faced boss speaks to him. 

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