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CRIME

Caught with sticky fingers: Sweden jails pair of chocolate thieves

Two sweet-toothed men in Sweden who pocketed chocolate, chewing gum and disposable razors to the tune of 12,000 kronor ($1,456) have ended up in prison for their efforts.

Caught with sticky fingers: Sweden jails pair of chocolate thieves
Some of the goods stolen in the theft. Photo: Polisen Alingsås

After completing their first haul the men went on to carry out a similar theft in a different store before being arrested by police in Alingsås, western Sweden last February.

The older of the two men, aged 50, admitted to Alingsås District Court that he had stolen from both stores, while the younger of the pair said he had only taken 40-50 chocolate biscuits from the first shop.

READ ALSO: Swede steals candy then phones police to confess

The court judged that both men were responsible for theft in the first store, while in the case of the second store only the 50-year-old was convicted as there was insufficient evidence to prove that the younger man was involved.

Further stolen goods from other stores were found in the car they were using, which led to the court also convicting them of fencing. The duo have previously been convicted of theft.

Both men will now spend two months in prison for the crimes, Alingsås Tidning reports.

READ ALSO: Thieves make off with four tonnes of Ferrero chocolate in Sweden

CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.

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