Fake "Police" Haunting the Elderly

The elderly in Sweden are being fooled into giving up their cash and valuables to thieves dressed up as police, who summarily disappear with the loot. A league of about ten to fifteen men pulled off at least 72 such heists in the fall and winter of last year, 60 of which occurred in the Stockholm area.

After selecting their victims with help from telephone directory assistance and the Internet, the men call to explain that they are doing house calls after a number of recent burglaries in the area. After letting the men in, the elderly residents are then asked to produce cash and items of value so the “police” can bring them to the “police station” to document them in case of theft. After disappearing with the things, the men are never seen again.

Ove Burlin, head of the Stockholm Police’s new group to investigate crimes against the elderly, says that the league of men have garnered considerable sums with the ruse.

“The investigations show that the perpetrators have made off with [cash and valuables] worth upwards of one million kronor,” he told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.