Gun Stash Suddenly Unavailable

A colleague of mine has left contract archaeology to work for the police as a civil utredare, that is, someone with a university degree who works on crime cases despite not being a policeperson. He told me a pretty neat story about Gubbligan, the Old Man’s Gang.

The OMG were three professional bank robbers who never settled down. In the 00s they were in their 40s, 50s and 60s, and still they kept committing armed robberies across southern Sweden. The police were onto them and had begun to tap the gang’s cell phones. This way they learned that the OMG had an arms stash out in the woods, where they had buried some pretty heavy weaponry and explosives.

The police now had a little problem. They weren’t quite ready to arrest the gang, and if they dug up the stash they would alert their quarry. On the other hand, it wasn’t very comfortable to let the gang keep their guns and explosives just like that. Then someone had a pretty neat idea.

The next time the OMG popped by to check on their stash out in elk country, they found it buried under half a ton of sugar beets. Across the clearing, just under the eaves of the woods, was a freshly built hunting stand.

The Old Man’s Gang were apprehended in 2010 and are currently serving another one of their usual long jail sentences.

For more about the OMG, see Anders Svensson’s blog.


Not Great Impulse Control, Not Great Planning

Here are two pages out of this week’s Swedish crime chronicle, showcasing the rare beauties of the small-town criminal mind. Both remind me of the movie Fargo in different ways.

  • The first one is awesomely stupid. Wednesday shortly after noon a young couple were driving through the outskirts of Fagersta. Two police officers recognised them and flagged them down as the driver was known to have no licence.

    The couple gets out of the car and starts arguing with the police, and then the man grabs one of the officers in a stranglehold and starts banging her head against the car. The woman hits the other officer on the back of the head. All this in broad daylight and in full view of many three-story apartment buildings! Both get pepper sprayed and taken into custody.

    The man is now held in suspicion of attempted manslaughter, threats against an officer of the law and aggravated driving without a licence. The woman is held in suspicion of violence against an officer of the law. Both are suspected of being shatteringly stupid rural meth heads.

    And Americans, take note. See how these things play out in an environment without many guns?

  • The second one is more kind of sad but also amazing. After a burglary in Höganäs Tuesday or Wednesday, the police managed to chase the three burglars down. To their surprise they found that one of the three, a woman of 40, was in an obvious and advanced state of pregnancy. She told them that she was feeling labour pangs, and they rushed her to hospital. Luckily, it was a false alarm and she could soon join her confederates at Helsingborg police station.