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Romanian gang behind fuel pump break-ins

Criminal gangs have burgled dozens of self-service fuel pumps in southern Finland, half of them in the Kanta-Häme region. One gang was caught in the act in the wee hours of Sunday morning when a civilian alerted police to the crime.

Bensa-automaatti.
The criminal gang has targeted self-service petrol pumps in souther Finland. Image: YLE Keski-Suomi

The latest in the spate of criminal acts took place around 2.00 am Sunday morning, when a trio tried to violently forced open a self-service petrol pump in Ryttylä, Hausjärvi. A passerby noticed the men and alerted a nearby police patrol.

Two of the miscreants disappeared into the nearby woods, but the passerby was able to direct police in the right direction and the men were caught. A third suspect was found hiding in a ditch. A police dog found the men’s tools stashed in a local field. A fourth man reportedly fled the scene in a grey Lancia with Bulgarian license plates.

Specialised hit and run gigs

Kanta-Häme police chief Ilkka Iivari said that the men apprehended at the scene of the crime were all Romanian. According to IIvari there had been dozens of similar fuel pump burglaries in different parts of southern Finland.

“The Romanian gang has expertly opened these machines. They have clearly specialised in this kind of hit and run gig. Some have only been attempts, but in other cases they have got away with money,” Iivari said.

The trio caught Sunday morning will be remanded into custody next week. The Kanta-Häme police are calling on members of the public to come forward with any information about suspicious groups moving about at night.

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