The Helsinki Police Department report that they have caught a man who is suspected of having organised a large number of thefts in the Finnish capital.
The man is suspected of being one of the main perpetrators in a sizeable pickpocketing league. On Thursday, the Helsinki District Court made a decision that he was to be remanded in custody.
A league of professional thieves from Romania is suspected of at least ten pickpocketing incidents and means-of-payment frauds, with a total of almost EUR 20,000 stolen from the victims.
The pickpocketing incidents have occurred mainly at restaurants in the centre of Helsinki. The members of the gang have spied on people at cash machines to get their PIN codes, after which they have stolen the victim’s wallet and emptied the bank account at a nearby ATM.
A part of the stolen money has been sent to Romania. The largest single payment known to have been sent to Romania is EUR 9,000, the police report.
The police also knows the identities of the other members of the gang.
A warrant for their arrest has been issued, but they are suspected of having left the country.
The police advise people to keep the PIN codes of their bank and credit cards hidden in public places.
At some restaurants in the centre of Helsinki, the personnel have been trained to prevent pickpocketing.
Plain-clothed police have been active recently in bustling areas of the city centre, on the lookout for pickpockets. The main railway station is one popular location.