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CRIME

Suspect admits stealing 17th-century Swedish royal crowns

A 22-year-old man has admitted that he took part in a brazen heist of priceless royal crowns in southern Sweden this summer.

Suspect admits stealing 17th-century Swedish royal crowns
The stolen items. Photo: Polisen/Livrustkammaren

The search for both the culprits and the jewels gained international attention after 17th-century royal crowns were taken from a cathedral in Strängnäs, one hour from Stockholm, with the suspects then seen fleeing the scene by bicycle and motorboat.

The suspect told the court: “It was me who carried out the theft” after his lawyer earlier said that the man had confessed to being guilty of aggravated theft.

The stolen jewels were found in early February by a security guard who discovered them atop a rubbish bin north of Stockholm.

After police confirmed that these items were in fact the missing crowns, they found traces of the 22-year-old's DNA on the jewels. He was already on trial after being identified by blood found at the crime scene, but during the initial police investigation had denied any involvement in the heist.

The crowns were made for the burial of King Charles IX and his wife Christina and date back to the early 1600s. They were stolen along with a royal orb.

A further two men, aged 24 and 26, have also been detained on suspicion of aggravated receiving of stolen goods.

July's royal heist was the second to take place in the area around Lake Mälaren in recent years.

In 2013, a crown and sceptre used in the funeral of Sweden's King Johan III were stolen from nearby Västerås. Those items were later located in two large rubbish bags at the side of a highway following a tip-off to police.

READ ALSO: Police confirm Sweden's stolen crown jewels have been found

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ALMEDALEN 2022

Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden. 

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