Armed robbers hit two banks in western Sweden

Two banks were robbed on Monday morning in Charlottenberg, in northern Värmland, not far from the Norwegian border.

Armed robbers hit two banks in western Sweden

The robbers opened fire with automatic weapons both inside and outside the bank branches.

Authorities received a call at 9:05am Monday morning after the thieves had entered a Nordea bank branch.

Shortly thereafter the sound of gunfire was heard coming from the bank.

One witness told the TT news agency that she had seen five robbers, and that three of them left the Nordea branch and drove a car back toward the offices of the Westra Wermlands Sparbank.

“They broke into both banks,” said the witness.

The witness also saw how the bandits pushed people out of the way on the street, pointed their weapons toward onlookers, and then fired their guns up in the air. She also heard explosions caused by the robbers’ blasting inside the bank.

“No one was physically injured,” said police spokesperson Patrick Danielsson to the TT news agency.

It remains unclear whether or not the robbers made away with any loot and if so how much they may have taken.

After the robberies, the gang disappeared in a black BMW driving east toward Gräsmark, where the vehicle was also seen.

There are also reports that the car has made way to Norway.

“Both the customs office at the border and the Norwegian police have been notified and are on the lookout for the robbers,” said Danielson.

The theft is one of a number directed toward banks and cash transport services near Sweden’s border with Norway.

The region is thought to attract criminals in part due to the high volume of cross-border trade, and in part because it is often a long distance to a large police station.


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.