Small town business hit by spate of booze thefts
A company run by a couple in the town of Hallstahammar has been hit by repeated robberies during the last week.
Susanne and Eric Croner rent the old local assembly hall in Hallstahammar to run their business. They help host conferences and events, and they also have an eatery for people to have lunch.
For almost a year a half, the couple have run their company out of the building. But lately, they have had to turn to friends and acquaintances to help them keep an eye on the premises at night. Since they opened, the business has been robbed six times, four of them in the last week alone.
Even though they have an alarm system and surveillance cameras, the thieves have been getting away, and Susanne Croner is getting tired of it.
"It's frustrating, and it takes an incredible amount of energy. It's getting to be nasty," she says, adding, "I don't have any problem with the idea of being there at night, but now I'm starting to feel that I don't want to be alone in the building. It makes me angry and really sad when someone else decides for me, and doesn't let me be where I want to be."
She tells Swedish Radio P4 Västmanland that via the surveillance cameras, she can see what's happening from home or on her mobile phone, but that they thieves are hard to identify because of the way they're dressed, and they also wear gloves.
But why are these thieves – if they are indeed the same ones coming back night after night – so persistent, and what are they after?
Susanne Croner says it is alcohol they want, adding, "We don't have money or tobacco, but we do have alcohol. We lock some of it away, but sometimes, if we're hosting an event the next day, we have to prepare and let some of it stay out. But now, we don't have anything left."
However, the Croners seem to have a group of dedicated friends willing to help, and this could be the solution to the rash of thefts.
Susanne Croner says, "Now, we've got a list of people who want to sleep over, and that should hold us through until the summer. So a lot of people have gotten engaged, and it feels fantastic."