Some news stories sound more like action films than reality. The robbery of a castle in Dresden, Germany, is one of these tales. Recently, a group of thieves broke into a castle vault and made off with valuable artifacts. Despite the efforts of law enforcement, the burglars have not yet been found.
German police stated that at least four thieves had broken into the Green Vault — an area of the castle used to house valuable and historical jewels. The suspects stole 11 artifacts, including the “Diamond Rose” and “Queen’s Jewelry” sets.
The suspects partially cut the power to the building before breaking the iron gate and a window to enter the Green Vault, located on the ground floor of the museum. They used a fire extinguisher to cover their tracks. The police have asked the public for their assistance in apprehending the criminals. They went so far as to offer a reward of 500,000 euros (US $554,000) for information leading to a capture.
Surveillance video shows two of the suspects approaching one of the display cases. One of them uses an ax to break the glass and gain access to the jewelry. “The case looks like a battlefield,” said Dirk Syndram, the director of the Green Vault. The police also found a burned-out car that the suspects used as their escape vehicle.
The museum has not provided a monetary value of the items that were stolen, but the staff indicated that it would be impossible to sell the jewels on the open market because they would be easily recognized. This has led to fears that the culprits would break down the pieces and melt the gold so they can sell the parts separately without getting caught. Other sources have estimated the value of the stolen goods at one billion euros, over US $1 billion.
Will They be Caught?
The robbers still have not been identified, nor do police seem to be any closer to capturing them. It seems that museums like the Green Vault must ensure that their security measures are effective. It’s possible that since heists such as this are rare outside of the movies, the museum didn’t think such a crime was likely.