Equipment worth an estimated $150,000 was stolen from a store in Uppsala
Swedish police suspect Russian involvement in the large-scale theft of ice hockey equipment from a store in Uppsala earlier this month, according to national media.
Around 1.6 million krona's worth ($150,000) of hockey gear was stolen from the 'Sportringen' store between November 5 and 6, including what owner Mats Loov described as "the best [equipment] we've got."
"It feels terrible. They've picked the best sticks and then they moved on. It's piles of top skates that are gone. We only have a couple left," Loov said, according to Expressen.
The Swedish news outlet reported that police suspect the theft was a "commissioned job from Russia" because some top brands have halted supplies to the country because of the conflict in Ukraine.
The theft is said to include 100 pairs of skates and around 400 sticks from Bauer and fellow Canadian brand CCM.
"It feels terrible if we're a pantry for them. Given the lack they have of hockey products, they can probably pay well for what we've lost," added Loov.
Local police press spokesman Jonas Eronen added: "The suppliers have gone out to their dealers and explained that such thefts may take place in the near future. There is nothing confirmed, but there is information in the preliminary investigation about this."
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has been among the organizations to ban Russian and Belarusian teams from all its competitions as a result of Moscow's military operation in Ukraine.
However, Russians continue to star in the North American NHL, which has shown no indication that it will take sanctions against individual players.