In the biggest theft since the second world war, three sets of 18th-century jewelry have been stolen from Dresden, Germany this week. The jewels, along with various art treasures, were of “immeasurable worth” to the city of Dresden.
Staged during a fire at a nearby electrical distribution point that took the alarm offline, this is one of the most impressive heists to ever be pulled off.
In five years, we can assume Hollywood is going to be taking advantage of this amazing story and crafting a movie. For now, we can only be shocked at how well the thieves pulled it off, and talk about the stolen goods.
On Monday, a fire broke at an electrical distribution point near Dresden’s Royal Palace. With what we know now, one has to assume that this was a deliberate fire.
The fire caused the power to go out in the surrounding area and plunged the Royal Palace into complete darkness. It also cleverly took down the alarm system. Why the Royal Palace didn’t have further security measures – like a backup generator for the alarm – is unclear right now.
The thieves then smashed a window and cut through a fence before entering the Grunes Gewoble’s (which stands for Green Vault) jewel room. Police have described this as a “targeted” act.
Officers were on the scene within minutes and set up roadblocks on major highways, but so far they have had no luck. The Green Vault is close to the autobahn, which would have helped them make a quick getaway.
Police are fairly sure that a car found in flames later that day was the getaway car that the thieves used in the heist, though there is no certainty at this moment.
It appears that they had several people were involved. Right now, at least two were directly responsible for breaking into the Green Vault according to security cameras, which were apparently working and recording even when the alarm was off.
Then, at least one was set with a getaway car. That’s the only way they were able to evade capture, police believe.
Finally, a fourth person may have been responsible for the fire at a separate location. It’s unlikely that the thieves were able to set the fire and then make the heist, though officials aren’t ruling anything out yet.
While local media is reporting the loss as of jewels as “hundreds of millions” of euros, the director of the Dresden collection says that it isn’t that simple to estimate.
“We cannot give a value because it is impossible to sell. The material value doesn’t reflect the historic meaning.” He explained.
Included in the stolen items are three “priceless” sets of diamonds, which includes brilliant-cut diamonds that belonged to an 18th-century collection and was assembled by the museum’s founder.