Nov 26, 2019

An Audi, an ax and an arson

Jewelry Room of the Green Vault in 2006. Photo: Norbert Millauer/DDP/AFP via Getty Images

In Germany, thieves broke into Dresden's Green Vault, one of the world's oldest museums, and made off with three priceless sets of 18th century Baroque jewelry that officials said would be impossible to sell on the open market, AP reports.

Why it matters: The treasury of Augustus the Strong of Saxony was established in 1723, and today contains around 4,000 objects of gold, precious stones and other materials on display in Dresden's Royal Palace.

  • Museum officials said the sets that were stolen included intricate and dazzling brooches, buttons, buckles and other items.

How the heist happened: Police said they were alerted shortly before 5 a.m. by unarmed museum security guards who had spotted two burglars inside the downtown museum on video surveillance cameras.

  • Police said that an Audi A6 matching the description of the getaway car was found burned in an underground parking lot in Dresden.

Novelistic detail: Investigators suspect that a fire at an electrical junction box near the museum, which took out the streetlights at the time of the robbery, was linked to the crime.

  • The outage affected lights in front of a window through which the thieves gained entrance, getting through bars and safety glass to the Jewel Room.
  • Security footage shows two hooded figures entering the room, then smashing open the glass case with an ax.

The entire crime took only minutes.

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