A Swedish 19-year-old is suspected of being involved in 221 crimes over a four-year period, with his criminal career starting at the age of just 12.
Identified in local media reports as Hassan, the criminal male is currently in prison serving a two-year sentence for robbery, among other charges and participated in an interview to speak about his experiences growing up in the Stockholm criminal scene, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.
According to the teen, he started stealing bicycles at nine or ten years old but then noted: “Over the years, it has escalated. But I was placed in a youth home, or SiS home [a home for youths showing criminal behaviour], where I met other criminals. Then they became my role models and I wanted to be like them.”
At age 12, Hassan’s mother reported to social services that she suspected he may be part of a criminal gang. Only two years later, he was arrested after stealing a car and leading police on a car chase, with the teen later taken from his mother and placed in a youth home.
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By the age of 16, he was convicted of a series of crimes that amounted to a sentence of 31 months in prison but because of Sweden’s “youth discount” and other measures, he only saw two months of youth care.
In February of last year, Hassan, along with two others, beat up a man named Lars Fernandez outside a petrol station and stole his car.
“I said no, and then they hit me on the ground and kept asking for the keys. I said no and protected myself in the fetal position, then one of the guys started kicking me.” Fernandez said.
“That’s how I’m going to die,” Mr Fernandez recalled thinking, continuing: “Then I let go of everything and stopped resisting, then they got hold of the car key I had in my pocket and jumped into the car and pulled away,” he added.
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When asked if he regretted the long list of crimes, Hassan responded: “No, I do not regret it, I do not regret my crimes. I don’t believe it will help me.”
The topic has even been discussed by the King of Sweden who expressed serious concerns over the rise in violence.