Thousands of Christmas cards were stolen in Sweden this year

It seems not everyone fully embraced the Christmas spirit of giving in Sweden this year, as it emerged that thousands of Christmas cards were stolen in the country over the festive period.

Thousands of Christmas cards were stolen in Sweden this year
Christmas card thieves plundered thousands of the items in 2016. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Postal service PostNord Sweden has revealed that an estimated 8,000 cards failed to reach their destination after being stolen during the two weeks before Christmas 2016.

One case in Småland, southern Sweden was discovered in an unusual fashion. A mailbox there had been vandalized and emptied a few days before Christmas, and the contents were eventually found when a hunting party were out looking for Elk in the area.

Their biggest find wasn't one of the animals, but a mail sack lying underneath some trees:

“It turned out to be cards and letters which had been opened, and there were also some small presents lying there which had been taken out of the envelope, but they probably didn’t want,” hunter Arne Karlsson told local newspaper Smålandsposten.

The items were collected and handed to local police in Växjö. A large number of the contents were so badly tampered with or water damaged that it was no longer possible to read the addresses. But 164 of the shipments were saved and should arrive at their original destination, albeit somewhat late, after PostNord re-sent them.

The week before the Christmas weekend another major festive theft occurred, with 4000 Christmas cards stolen from a mail sorting facility in Örebro, central Sweden.

And according to PostNord the total number of missing Christmas cards in the country is about twice that:

“Our estimate is, in round figures, 8,000 shipments from a total of 22 million, when looking at the two weeks before Christmas,” Postnord press spokesperson Malin Nordén told news agency TT.

“We would like to tell our customers that they should not put valuables in envelopes precisely because this kind of thing can happen. For money and the like, it’s always best to send registered post,” she added.