Int'l crime networks responsible for half of home burglaries in Sweden: report

2017-07-17 14:30:43 GMT2017-07-17 22:30:43(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

STOCKHOLM, July 17(Xinhua) -- International crime networks are responsible for half of home burglaries in Sweden, and according to a new report from Swedish police intelligence, they are building infrastructure in Sweden, Swedish public television broadcaster SVT reported Monday.

"We have been refining our tools to distinguish the patterns in these serial crimes. Now we are confident enough to write these reports and say that they are responsible for as many as half the reported home burglaries in Sweden," Stefan Pettersson who works for the intelligence unit focusing on international crime networks, told SVT.

He warned that the number of home burglaries will continue to grow if Sweden presents itself as a more accessible country.

The international crime networks come from eastern Europe, the Balkan and Baltic countries, and also South America, according to police. The networks have ample economic resources and a clear hierarchy in which one or several leaders control the networks from the home country, SVT reported.

According to Pettersson, who has followed the networks since the police started noting their activities 10 years ago, the profile of people working with these rings is becoming clearer. They are not drug addicts, he said.

"They are professional criminals. These are men between the ages of 20 and 45 who form tightknit groups and who have long criminal careers behind them," he said.

According to police, the crime networks are primarily interested in small valuables such as gold and watches that can be transported easily out of the country.

The offenders are recruited in their country of origin for stealing tours.

"When we monitored networks from Lithuania and Poland, for example, we could see that the people who are sent to Sweden get to work as soon as they arrive. In Sweden they live inexpensively, travel around in cheap cars and steal diesel. When the jobs are done, they are sent back to the home country with the loot. There, they are replaced with a new group of people. This is cost-efficient crime," said Pettersson.

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