Norwegian farmers suspect sheep thieves after unexplained disappearances

Farmers in Norway’s Aust-Agder region suspect sheep thieves are on the loose after several of the animals disappeared without any natural cause.

Norwegian farmers suspect sheep thieves after unexplained disappearances
File photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen/NTB Scanpix

The sheep farmers fear the sheep have been shot and then stolen, reports broadcaster NRK.

Farmer Sivert Svane, who has lost three of his flock, told the broadcaster that he had reported the suspected thefts.

“Last Sunday I heard a lot of noise that suggests someone has been in to take the animals. Shots have been heard in the area,” he said.

The fence around Svane’s property was intact but the animals had disappeared, he told NRK.

“We have reported it to the police, and they said they were interested in following developments,” he said.

Svane is not the only farmer to have had sheep vanish.

Farmers on Aust-Agder’s archipelago have seen their sheep ‘fished’ away using fishing equipment, the farmer told NRK.

Another farmer from the area told the broadcaster that he had recently found a sheep with its legs bound for transportation, as well as a lamb with a large fishing hook attached to it.

“We have found several animals with fishing hooks in their wool… This is clearly a deliberate action by people,” Jens Eide, a butcher from Lillesand, told NRK.

READ ALSO: Mystery of ‘kidnapped' Norwegian sheep

Several farmer owners in the area have reported animals to have disappeared with any natural explanation, Svane said.

The leader of the local association of sheep and goat farmers said it was “concerned” about the disappearances.

“This is very unusual for us, but we are hoping the police will take care of it,” Kåre Blålid told NRK.

Sheep theft in Norway is not a new phenomenon.

70 animals were stolen from a flock in Jæren in 2010, while man in his 40s was arrested earlier this year for stealing 20 sheep in the Hemsedal region, reports NRK.

READ ALSO: Sheep poo makes Norwegian cyclists sick


Viking treasures returned to Norwegian museum

A fourth man has now been arrested in connection with the theft of 400 Viking treasures from the University Museum of Bergen, which is now returning the objects to their displays.

Viking treasures returned to Norwegian museum
Two-thirds of the treasures are now reported recovered. Photo: Universitetsmuseet i Bergen / NTB scanpix

The man, who is in his fifties, is suspected of handling stolen goods, police attorney Linn Revheim told broadcaster NRK.

He was not present during the break-in at the museum, she said.

“Police found objects at his home,” Revheim told NRK, adding the statements made by the other suspects led to the fourth arrest.

He has been remanded in custody for four weeks, including two in isolation, reports the broadcaster.

Two arrests were made in connection with the case earlier this week.

University Museum of Bergen institute leader Asbjørn Engevik told NRK that staff “never gave up hope” of seeing the valuable Viking artefacts returned.

The museum is currently working on returning the objects to their previous places while also assessing any damage they may have sustained.

Two-thirds of the objects are now reported to have been recovered.

“It is too early to say how large the damage is, but much can be repaired. The things that are most damaged are the biggest challenge, especially where parts have been broken off,” he said.

Police are assessing whether potential charges against the suspects could include damaging culturally or historically valuable objects.

“We will assess this if and when the charges are brought, in which case potential sentencing would be made stronger,” Revheim told NRK.

The police operation to make the arrest was initiated in October, when a man turned himself in at Bergen Police Station and claimed to have taken part in the robbery, according to the broadcaster’s report.

Police interrogation of the man led to the further arrests in the case.

The man who confessed to police is also under the care of the health service, reports NRK.

The broadcaster also writes that it has received information connecting the two men arrested earlier this week to a drugs-connected group in Bergen.

READ ALSO: 400 Viking objects stolen in Norway museum heist