Thieves have stolen a billion euros worth of jewels from the Green Vault of the Residenzschloss in Dresden, in one of the biggest heists in German post-war history.
The theft began at around 5 o’clock in the morning with an electrical box sabotaged in order to shut off the street lights in the area around the Residenzschloss, German tabloid Bild reports.
The two thieves then entered the palace through a window with police dispatching officers to the scene at around 5:04 am. Just a minute later, police received reports of an escape vehicle and at 5:09 am all available patrol carts, 16 altogether, were dispatched to the scene.
Only 15 minutes after the police received the initial call of a break-in they were informed of an Audi car on fire in a nearby underground carpark. Investigators believe this could be the first escape vehicle used by the thieves who remain at large.
Saxony Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), released a statement saying, “Not only the state art collections were robbed, but we Saxons were as well!”
‘Invaluable’ Swedish Crown Jewels Stolen From Cathedral in Brazen Heist https://t.co/hQ2KgnWyCX
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 1, 2018
The items stolen include three 37-part diamond jewellery sets with the head of the Dresden state museums Marion Ackermann telling the BBC, “The items cannot be sold on the art market legally – they’re too well known.”
The theft comes just over a year since the funeral crown of former Swedish King Charles IX along with the funeral crown of his wife Christina of Holstein-Gottorp were stolen last year from Strängnäs cathedral in a similar heist.
The Swedish crown jewels were later recovered in the Stockholm area earlier this year, with a 22-year-old Swedish national being arrested several months prior.
The Dresden heist also comes after thieves in Berlin stole a one million dollar Canadian gold coin in March of 2017. Two men were later arrested in connection to the robbery but the actual coin was never recovered.