Police in Oslo reported a rash of robberies and attempted robberies over the weekend, mostly at metro stations on the city’s affluent west side. A group of teenage boys threatened and even assaulted other teenagers, before making off with expensive clothing and mobile phones.
It’s the latest surge of so-called barneran, often involving minority youth from poor families targeting wealthy youth wearing brand-name clothing. In one of the robberies over the weekend, the assailants stole a Gucci cap from their victim, while other cases involved theft of mobile phones and a fashionable jacket.
The robberies took place at the Borgen and Makrellbakken T-bane stations in Frogner and Ullern, at a suburban station at Bekkestua in Bærum and at Korsvoll. Nine suspects all under the age of 18 surrounded and robbed a 16-year-old at Borgen, for example, on Saturday evening, while a 13- and 14-year-old were robbed at Bekkestua earlier the same evening.
“Here it involved verbal threats and a knife,” police told newspaper Aftenposten. Other robberies on Friday and Sunday did not involve weapons but on Sunday evening, a teenager chased another while carrying an axe.
Police identified several suspects based on video from surveillance cameras and apprehended several shortly after the attacks, but had to let them go because all are under the age of 18. Now it’s up to child welfare services to deal with the offenders, and their parents.