Police thought for several hours on Thursday that they needed to subdue a dangerous diplomat. Someone, at any rate, was behind the wheel of a black Volvo V90 with diplomatic license plates, and driving in a manner that scared everyone on the road around him.
The drama began in the early morning hours when police in Oslo first spotted what they thought was an errant embassy car. When they tried to stop it, the driver sped off.
It didn’t take long before worried motorists on the RV4 highway running north from Oslo started sending in alarms to the police. They reported seeing a Volvo bearing the special blue and yellow plates issued to embassies and consulates, and driving at speeds of up to 150 kilometers per hour in 60-kph zones.
Police districts were alerted in the entire region, as reports also ticked in that the Volvo’s driver was recklessly passing cars and causing several near-collisions. Police also called for more tips from the public in the hopes of localizing what they described on social media as “a black Volvo V90 with embassy registration (CD) plates.” Police went on to write that the car had been the subject of “a series of reports of hazardous driving from Oslo and northwards.”
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) picked up the police’s call for help early Thursday morning and, like police, assumed a diplomat was to blame. NRK even reported how police faced a difficult if not impossible task in bringing the driver to justice, and published details about how diplomatic immunity can prevent prosecution of diplomatic offenders.
At around 7:30am, the police reported that the last sighting of the car was on the E6 highway near Brumunddal and Rudshøgda. That would indicate that the reckless driver had managed to drive over the bridge that spans Norway’s largest lake, Mjøsa.
Car found, culprit arrested
Then came another police report, several hours later: “The car has been found by police in Brumunddal. A man in his 30s has been arrested.”
The culprit turned out to be a drunk Norwegian with a long criminal record. He’d stolen the Volvo from a rental car agency in Oslo and put stolen diplomatic license plates on it.
The man was arrested for driving at high speeds, refusing to stop for police, various other traffic violations and driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both. He admitted to local police that he’d stolen the car and run off from police.
The origins of the stolen CD license plates remained unclear. “We haven’t found out where he stole the plates, but we will investigate further,” Haagen Løvseth of the inland police distric told NRK Thursday evening.