Worst thief finally behind bars

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A British-Norwegian man convicted of at least 750 break-ins around Oslo has finally been jailed, after court-appointed psychiatrists reevaluated his mental health and determined that he could be held responsible for his actions after all.

Police have been able to connect the man to hundreds of thefts through video surveillance, DNA and even catching him in the act. For years, though, the man was deemed to be too mentally ill to be imprisoned but not ill enough to be committed to a psychiatric institution.

Police say that he has, over just the past six month, committed 111 crimes, mostly break-ins and vandalism in offices, stores and restaurants. He most often takes relatively small items like computers and mobile phones.

Rikke Mørck Os runs the Bolivar Brasserie & Bar at Majorstuen and has suffered seven break-ins. “It’s just incredibile he’s been allowed to get away with this for so long,” she told newspaper Aften. “We must be able to protect the public from a person like this. I’m a lawyer myself, and this has defied all feelings of justice.”

The court has now agreed, after a new evaluation of his mental health. He was ordered held in custody for at least four weeks while police continue to investigate the most recent charges against him. They include around 30 thefts.

“This is a great relief,” prosecutor Vegard Rødås told Aften. “He has caused a lot of damage to many businesses without us being able to react effectively.”

Views and News staff