Stig Millehaugen, often referred to as one of the most dangerous men in Norway, was finally captured by police in Oslo on Wednesday after a week on the run. He was found in the capital’s eastern forest known as Østmarka, after failing to return from a few hours of leave from prison in Trondheim.
“He was cooperative and has probably been in the forest for several days, and a bit tired because of that,” police operations leader Tor Gulbrandsen told state broadcaster NRK. Gulbrandsen said a police patrol “ran into him” not far from the elegant and popular forest lodge and restaurant known as Østmarksetra, often used as a venue to celebrate special occasions. His arrest reportedly occurred without any drama.
Police also found the area where Millehaugen had been camping in a tent. He was out walking when police encountered him and was uninjured, “but exhausted and looking rather shabby.” He was driven to Oslo’s central policy station where he will receive any needed health care.
Prosecutor Børge Enoksen told NRK that police had received a tip that Millehaugen was observed in Østmarka on Tuesday. That gave police time to make some preparations and foot patrols were dispatched along with dogs. Witnesses have told media that there were unusually large police patrols in the area, popular for hiking in the summer and skiing in winter, both Tuesday evening and early Wednesday.
The 53-year-old murder convict had been allowed on June 1st to walk out of the prison where he’s serving Norway’s longest prison term, for what was supposed to be a few hours leave. Asked why Millehaugen was eligible for leave, prison officials have responded that the goal is always that convicts be rehabilitated and eventually return to society. They insisted they had not made any mistakes when allowing Millehaugen leave, even after he failed to return as promised.
He instead headed for Trondheim’s main airport at Værnes and managed to get an airline ticket to Oslo, which police think friends arranged for him. He then took the Airport Express Train (Flytoget) to Oslo’s central station, where he was picked up by surveillance cameras showing him wearing a cap and carrying a backpack. Camera images also later revealed that he took Oslo’s metro system to the Helsfyr station on the city’s east side.
He’d also been spotted at a grocery store near Østmarka. Police thanked the public for their tips during the week when Millehaugen was on the run. He’s been in trouble with police since 1991, was convicted for killing an Oslo gang leader in 2009 and also for killing a prison guard during an earlier attempted escape from prison. He was sentenced again in 2012 to Norway’s longest term of 21 years in prison that can be extended if judges don’t believe he’s sufficiently rehabilitated.