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A press conference at Kranj Police Station today presented details of the investigation of yesterday's armed robbery of a postman. By rapid and co-ordinated action in the Jesenice area, police officers and criminal investigators have arrested two suspects. The police officers have established that the arrested men, inhabitants of Jesenice aged 29 and 32, are suspected of several recent armed robberies in the Gorenjska region.

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The circumstances of the robberies and criminal investigation were described in detail by Simon Velički, head of the Criminal Investigation Police Section of the Kranj Police Directorate and Vilko Širca, head of the General Criminal Investigation Section in the Criminal Investigation Police Directorate.

Mr Velički said that there were three serious armed robberies committed in the period from December 2007 to August 2008. Each was carefully planned and committed quickly, resolutely and at the time when large quantities of cash were being transferred. In all cases, the robbers threatened to use firearms.

Connections between the following armed robberies were made:

  • a robbery in the Mercator shop in Spodnji Plavž on 18 December 2007; the perpetrator made off with EUR 44,150;
  • a robbery of a staff member at the time of a delivery of cash on 16 January 2008 in the Jeko company in Jesenice; the perpetrator made off with EUR 36,445;
  • a robbery at the Sava Company, Bled hotels, on 8 August 2008; the perpetrator made off with EUR 153,844 in cash.

Investigators collected a sufficient quantity of evidence following standard criminal investigation procedures to enable the carrying out of covert investigation measures in accordance with the order of the District State Prosecutor's Office in Kranj.

In addition, police officers managed to provide evidence justifying a suspicion of committing a criminal offence or inciting a criminal offence pursuant to Article 295 of the Penal Code. The robbers planned and carried out a number of preparations with the intent of committing robbery of postal staff during the transport of cash by a Pošta Slovenija vehicle in the immediate vicinity of the Radovljica post office. The offence was not committed.

In yesterday's case, at about 8:30 a.m. the robbers forced the postman to leave a post bag in the Cesta Toneta Tomšiča in Jesenice by seriously threatening to use firearms. The postman first resisted the threat, and then when the perpetrator pulled out and cocked the gun, he handled the situation extraordinarily calmly and left the postbag to the robber. The perpetrator - and a co-perpetrator waiting in the vicinity of the vehicle - then drove at high speed from Tomšičeva Street to the Podmežaklja district of Jesenice. Based on the evidence collected and the first data from the place of the robbery, police officers organised an extensive action in which criminal investigators caught two suspects and deprived them of their liberty having arrived at the home of one of the suspected perpetrators.

On the basis of orders, investigations of three residential buildings, two auxiliary facilities and four vehicles were carried out. The final steps in the investigation of those arrested are now underway, on the basis of which the grounds for suspicion of the following offences are given:

  • the criminal offence of robbery of a postman on 30 December 2008 in accordance with the second paragraph of Article 206 of the Penal Code (KZ-1);
  • the criminal offence of inciting a criminal offence according to Article 295 of the Penal Code (KZ-1) of 16 December 2008;
  • the criminal offence of illegal manufacturing and trafficking in arms or explosive substances pursuant to Article 307 of the Penal Code (KZ-1).

Police officers have established evidence that a large sum of money thought to be from the robbery was used for the purchase of a flat at the Slovenian Coast before the arrest of the two suspects. The suspected perpetrators are also alleged to have been planning to buy a flat in Ljubljana, and one of the suspects had bought two expensive cars in the period of the robberies. A criminal complaint will be filed on the two suspects for all three armed robberies described above.

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Robbery statistics for Slovenia

Police officers in Slovenia were called to deal with less property crime and fewer robberies in 2008 than in previous years. In the year to 30 December, there were 426 robberies reported, compared with 493 in 2007, and 525 in 2006. Of these, 185 robberies were investigated in 2008, and 227 in the previous year. These criminal offences also include street robberies totalling 116 in 2007 and 77 in 2008. The street robberies investigated totalled 31.17% (45.69% in 2007).

Jointly investigated street robberies in the first half of 2008 totalled 51.01% (45.97% in 2007).

From the crime records, it is clear that police officers dealt with one bank robbery up to 4 November 2008 (two in 2007); and these criminal offences were investigated. Of the seven postal robberies (six in the previous year), one criminal offence was investigated (four offences in the previous year).

Most of these offences were committed in the area of the Ljubljana Police Directorate, where 134 robberies were committed in the first half of 2008 (321 in 2007 and 409 in 2006). The Maribor Police Directorate experienced the next largest number of reported offences with 33 robberies (107 in 2007 and 89 in 2006), followed by the Novo mesto Police Directorate and the Celje Police Directorate with 16 committed criminal offences each. One robbery each was investigated by the Postojna Police Directorate and the Slovenj Gradec Police Directorate.

In Ljubljana, police officers dealt with 19 armed robberies in 2008. In one case, the perpetrator used firearms, firing in a shop. The recently investigated robbery of the Malalan jewellery shop had the most far-reaching repercussions since immediately after the offence, one of the suspected perpetrators was arrested and a second suspect was arrested by police officers in co-operation with Croatian security authorities directly after crossing the state border. A robbery of a post vehicle in Litija, in which the perpetrators took EUR 90,000, was also investigated.

Robbers most frequently attacked in order to take money (in 154 cases in the first half of 2008), and secondly to take telecommunication equipment and mobile phones (in 43 cases). The weapons used most often in a robbery were pistols, n 17 cases in the first half of 2008, and in 32 cases in 2007. The second most frequently used weapons were knives, used in 9 cases in 2008 (and in 10 cases in the previous year).

In all cases, do not resist! Do not give robbers any reason to carry out their threats or use weapons. Life is the greatest "good"!

If you are a victim of criminal offence, you can greatly help police in finding the perpetrator if you remember or immediately record the following data:

  • personal description of perpetrators or suspects (sex, age, height, clothes, face, special characteristics, way of walking, etc.);
  • registration number, colour, make and type of the vehicle;
  • dddirection of escape.

It is important that you do not disturb evidence that may help find the perpetrator by moving objects or tidying the premises until the arrival of the police at the place of criminal offence.