Most-active thief sentenced to jail

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Norway’s most-active thief was sentenced to four years and eight months in jail on Tuesday after being convicted on charges including 170 break-ins. He’s believed to actually be behind 700 violations of the law, most of them for theft or attempted theft.

“Police have arrested him 221 times,” said prosecutor Vegard Rødås, adding that they always had to release him because he was determined to be psychotic. “He was therefore allowed to carry on freely.”

Last fall, though, court-appointed psychiatrists declared he was no longer psychotic. He could then be held in custody, charged at least with the break-ins that occurred after being considered healthy, and go on trial.

He normally carried out his break-ins at night and targeted offices, industrial firms and restaurants. He often caused considerable vandalism as he compulsively found a way into locked premises. In some cases, he hacked hole in walls and crawled through them in his pursuit of valuables.

The 42-year-old man, a British citizen who no longer bothered to hide his face from security cameras, testified that he sold items he stole and used the money to buy drugs. His defense attorney told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) he would appeal the jail term on the grounds it was too severe.

Views and News staff