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Prison term sought in €1.8mn Turku bus torching, home invasion

A man is accused of destroying 23 buses as well as many other offences including aggravated burglary and forcing a victim to drive him at gunpoint. He has confessed to some of the charges.

Ilmakuva, jossa palaneita linja-autoja tuhopolton jäljiltä.
Only about 10 buses were spared when the bus depot was set ablaze. Image: Poliisi

A prosecutor in the south-western city of Turku is seeking a prison term for a man suspected of an arson attack that destroyed 23 buses as well as other crimes linked to a home invasion.

Authorities estimate that the fire at the Nyholm bus company depot in the Runosmäki neighbourhood last September caused damages of at least 1.8 million euros. No-one was injured.

Police say the man, who is aged around 30, has confessed to some of the charges.

He has previous convictions for arson. There have been a string of other arson attacks in the Runosmäki district.

Home invasion – with "fake" gun?

The suspect also faces charges of aggravated robbery and deprivation of liberty. The prosecutor says he broke into a flat and the owner's property – including cologne and gin long drinks – as well as bank codes. The owner returned home, surprising the intruder while the burglary was in progress. The perpetrator pointed a pistol at the victim and ordered him not to call the police.

The suspect later told police that that the weapon was an airsoft replica gun. Police did however confiscate a working pistol from him, so he also faces weapons charges.

The intruder then demanded that the victim drive him to a nearby parking lot. He allegedly forced him to do at gunpoint, keeping the gun on his lap, pointed at the victim as he drove.

According to the prosecutor, the suspect warned the victim "not to do anything stupid, as he had his whole life ahead of him".

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