back to article Masked Santas disarm Swedish royal guard

Two masked men dressed in Santa hats robbed a royal guard of his automatic weapon in Stockholm last night. The pair mounted a successful surprise attack on the guard, The Local reports. "This is serious. I have a hard time believing it is a prank. It might be premeditated," said appropriately-named local police commander …


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  1. stupormundi

    probably protection racket

    ... Task Force?

    Reminds me of a Monty Python sketch:

    "We can guarantee you that not a single armoured division will get done over for fifteen bob a week."

    I wonder if they threatened the guard with harming his tank

  2. ratfox Silver badge

    I've always wondered

    What happens when you push such a guard too far? Not much, it seems.

    I remember hearing from the militia soldiers guarding embassies in Switzerland after 9/11. Their gun was sometimes loaded, but their instructions pretty much were that no matter what happened, they should not shoot. Now think carefully: What is the point of the gun being loaded in this case? Does it make for a more secure or a less secure world?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I wouldn't push them too far....

      I used to work with someone who used to be a Welsh Guard, at Buck Palace. Their guns are always loaded. Apparently they warn you the first time. "stop what you are doing, i am a member of the welsh guard, we are armed protectors of her majesty the queen, and we are authorised to protect the queen with use of our weapon*" Command you the second time. Hit you with the butt of their rifle the third time. Then shoot to kill the forth time.

      *this is a wildely inaccurate paraphrase, the guy remembered what was said exactly, (10) years later, but that was the general idea of what was said.

      Appologies for being anon, but, you know...

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

        Would it happen in practice?

        While not the same situation, I recall the incident when the Queen was riding in a procession with the Horse Guard behind her and some nutter with a handgun jumped out of the crowd. The Horse Guard kept in formation.

        They know they are a ceremonial guard, with the primary function to look good, and likely to face a LOT of trouble if they shoot an over-enthusiastic drunk, for example.

        Yep, mine's the one without weapons.

        1. Marcus Aurelius


          Have an outer ceremonial guard and an inner by any means necessary, no questions asked guard.

    2. stupormundi

      free guns

      to spin that thought further: wouldn't it then be better to issue the guards toy guns, which

      a) wouldn't make such an attractive target for robbery

      b) wouldn't pose a danger to the public once robbed and supplied with ammo found elsewhere?

    3. asdf

      only in Europe

      Over here in Yankland pretty much we have the opposite problem. There are areas around military bases (mostly around nuclear stuff) where you are shot on site no questions asked. Hell a generation ago it was ok for the police to shooting a fleeing felon in the back whether he was armed or not.

  3. Blue eyed boy


    Last I heard, a guy by the name of Tomten held the Swedish franchise. I've never been to Sweden so I've never seen him. Does he look anything like Santa?

  4. G R Goslin

    Dressed in Santa hats?

    Is that all they were wearing.? I thought that it was bloody cold in Sweden at this time of year.

  5. mikeyt

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    "I don't know what level of force the robbers used and if they made threats, but firing a gun is the last course of action," said a spokesman for the royal guards.

    well the robbers didn't include julian assange then, who would have been marched off to the american embassy

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Let me guess

    He was also wearing hair netting. If it had been a she, she'd have kicked their *sses.

  7. Paolo Marini
    IT Angle

    let me be the first to say...

    how does this relate to technology?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Paolo Marini

      Here are some technical details.

    2. foo_bar_baz
      Paris Hilton

      Let me be the first to say

      Hello, welcome to The Register. As for your question, the "Bootnotes" section name should be a hint.

      Paris, because she's not new.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Took it off him?

    I think they need to reconsider their recruitment criterea.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      They take anyone, literally. Sweden has conscription, not a professional army.

  9. skeptical i

    Dang, how naughty were those kids?

    Forget coal, you brats are getting LEAD!

  10. phisherofmen

    That Julian Assange..........

    What will he get up to next? Damned terrorist!

  11. Kelticfox

    Maybe he's had enough....

    The kids on the naughty list better watch out now, because Santa Claus is coming to town.

    Either that or he's setting himself up as a pimp:

    Gun: check

    Ho's: check

    Pimp suit: to do...

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Why arm the guards?

    If they won't use their weapons? Better off not arming them.

  13. Lars Silver badge

    Good luck

    Good luck for the Santas, I would assume at least on in one hundred guards would have grabbed the possibility to shoot, provided it was in fact a loaded weapon.

  14. James Woods

    yeah it's the opposite in the us

    I agree with the other posters about how guns are used over here.

    It's almost weekly if not monthly that cops come on to a persons property by invitation and end up shooting and killing the family dog or actually shooting the people who called them in the first place.

    In a recent case a dog was in a yard without a leash but the yard had an invisible fence. The cop shot and killed the dog because "he didn't know there was in invisible fence".

    Now really, what the heck is a dog going to do to a police officer? Unless the cops are going over in bicycle shorts and tank tops they already wear enough that should protect them from a savage attack and if all else I can see putting the dog down but not just because it comes at you.

    Trigger happy, Taser happy. You don't hear about postal workers and utility employees putting down dogs that they have interactions with.

    1. elderlybloke


      Would you give us of those here who do not know as much as you about dog attacks, to give a personal demonstration of the ability of ordinary clothing to protect against a savage dog attack..

      However , arrange for an ambulance to be ready on site.

      Good Luck

  15. Pirate Dave


    There was a gun in Sweden?

    1. Marcus Aurelius

      Umm you fail

      You may have some misconceptions of Sweden. Apart from the fact that they started off exporting Vikings, which was an extremely effective combat weapon for about 1000 years, they have continued with production of effective weapons to the present day

      A certain Alfred Nobel was Swedish (inventor of Gelignite and Dynamite, plus other explosives - he came up with the Peace prize for the lulz), Sweden has Bofors (famous for rapid firing cannon), Husqvarna (not just outdoor tools) and Saab aircraft, including the Gripen, a reasonable competitor to most modern multirole combat aircraft. Then there is the Visby stealth corvette....

      There are more but that will be doing to get on with.

      1. MegC

        @Marcus Aurelius

        Erm.. yeh he invented Dynamite and Gelignite for mining purposes and was devistated when they were used to harm humans instead of blow up big chunks of rock, he invented the peace prize because he didn't like war and thought peace was worth celebrating.

        The Bofors was extremely effective... in World War2 when we used to use such things and Airplanes didn't rule the sea and sky. The latest model of the Gripen is "alright" and the Visby is nothing to write home about (most modern countries employ a ship with the same role - Check out the U.S. Sea Shadow)... all of which wouldn't help vs a maurading Santa surely?

  16. Mark Haanen

    A stab in the dark

    "A review of security procedures has been launched."

    I bet they are checking whether "don't allow a member of the public to obtain your weapon" is actually one of the security procedures...

  17. mhenriday

    It has to be admitted that here in Sweden,

    the police don't usually shoot people quite as freely as they do in the land of the free and the home of the brave - the SOP is rather to dispatch them by sitting on them or holding them in such way that they can't breathe while on the way to the pokey, as in the case of Johan Liljeqvist a couple of years ago. But I am sure an exception could be made for Mr Assange - in the event he is extradited here from the UK and if our masters in Washington decide not to deal with him themselves....


  18. Dave 15 Silver badge

    Lock the guard up for life

    Just what point is there in being a guard with a loaded weapon and a sharp bayonet if you are so lazy, stupid and dim witted that you don't use it when clearly you should. What would have happened if the two santas had then shot/stabbed him and proceeded into the palace? What do they want with the gun - who will they shoot now? The guard is so totally incompetant that he should be locked up and the key thrown away.

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