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Friday, December 21, 2012

Suspects surface in Gävle goat arson case

Local police “hot” on their trail
By Will Collette

Last week, Gävle, Sweden’s belovedChristmas goat was burnt to the ground. The 40-foot tall stick-and-straw construct has graced the town square in Gävle for the past 46 years. But this year, like most years, the anti-Goat faction in Gävle torched the goat even though it was under 24/7 closed circuit surveillance.

Police received reports of four men who went into a local restaurant restroom that night to change their clothes. They smelled of smoke, according to the reports.

Then, a photo of four ankles was posted online. Each of the ankles bore a rather nice tattoo rendition of the burning Gävle goat along with the date and time the goat was torched.

This seemed very suspicious to local police. “This kind of tattoo isn’t done by just anyone,” said Mikael Hedström of the Gävle police to the Expressen newspaper. “But even if we find out who it is, it’s no proof.”

But even if the police find the person who posted the photo or the people in the photo itself, that’s not enough. “Then we have to tie them to the crime scene. The tattoo is not enough,” Hedström told the Expressen.

The goat burners could face major fines or imprisonment if caught and convicted. The charges could be arson or aggravated damage with a fine up to 200,000 kronor ($30,300).
Last year's Charlestown bonfire

Meanwhile, plans continue for Charlestown's version of the Gävle goat, as Frank "Frankie Pallets" Glista continues planning for the New Year's Eve bonfire at Ninigret Park. What shape while Charlestown's fiery effigy take? One local wag suggested that Frank should shape the wooden pallets he uses for the event into a giant Porsche.