Police slammed over helicopter heist

The Swedish police made several serious mistakes in connection with the helicopter heist robbery in Västberga in southern Stockholm last autumn, according to former police superintendent Eric Rönnegård.

Police slammed over helicopter heist

Rönnegård argued that poor surveillance by the police helicopters was not the only mistake committed. A report on the decisions taken by police during the first day after the alarm was sounded reveals serious deficiencies within police command, Rönnegård claimed.

Rönnegård has himself worked as a commanding officer within the Stockholm police force and has significant experience of how operations of this kind should be led.

It took one hour and 19 minutes for the police to initiate their action plan for serious exceptional incidents and for police to receive clearance for the use of back-up arms.

It took even longer, over three hours, before the decision was taken to check Sweden’s borders.

The report also details that the police hotline for tips from the public remained in chaos 37 hours after the robbery.

“The commanding officer took the decision too late. He waited too long to activate the action plan for serious exceptional incidents considering the chain of events, which just ran out of control,” Eric Rönnegård said to the TT news agency.

The Stockholm County Police Commissioner Carin Götblad declined to comment on the criticism on Tuesday. She confirmed however that the police plan to conduct a review of the incident and the work of the police when the investigation is concluded.

The Västberga cash depot was hit in the early hours of Wednesday September 23rd when several powerful explosions were heard.

A helicopter landed on the roof of the depot, managed by the G4S security firm, and men entered the building to seize a large quantity of cash. The robbers then made their escape in the helicopter with the police looking on.

Police helicopters had meanwhile been grounded due to a bomb scare – the gang had left a bag with the word BOMB inscribed on the side at the helicopter station on Värmdö in eastern Stockholm.

The police have since made a series of arrests but none of the suspects have yet been charged with an offence.

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German police arrest fugitive twin over Dresden museum heist

German police said Tuesday they have arrested one of two fugitive twin brothers from the so-called Remmo clan wanted over their suspected role in snatching priceless jewels from a museum in the city of Dresden.

German police arrest fugitive twin over Dresden museum heist
Archive photo from April 2019 shows the Jewellery Room of the Green Vault. Photo: DPA

The 21-year-old suspect was detained in Berlin on Monday evening over what local media have dubbed one of the biggest museum heists in modern history, a spokesman for the police in the eastern city of Dresden said.

The twins had eluded German authorities when they carried out raids last month and arrested three members of the Remmo clan, a family of Arab origin notorious for its ties to organised crime.

Police then named them as 21-year-old Abdul Majed Remmo and Mohammed Remmo.

All five suspects are accused of “serious gang robbery and two counts of arson,” Dresden prosecutors said.

Police did not immediately name the arrested twin. His brother remains on the run.

The robbers launched their brazen raid lasting eight minutes on the Green Vault museum in Dresden's Royal Palace on November 25th, 2019.

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about the Dresden museum heist

Having caused a partial power cut and broken in through a window, they snatched priceless 18th-century jewellery and other valuables from the collection of the Saxon ruler August the Strong.

Items stolen included a sword whose hilt is encrusted with nine large and 770 smaller diamonds, and a shoulderpiece which contains the famous 49-carat Dresden white diamond, Dresden's Royal Palace said.

The Remmos were previously implicated in another stunning museum robbery in the heart of Berlin in which a 100-kilogramme gold coin was stolen.

Investigators last year targeted the family with the seizure of 77 properties worth a total of €9.3 million, charging that they were purchased with the proceeds of various crimes, including a 2014 bank robbery.

READ ALSO: €1 million gold coin stolen from iconic Berlin museum