Thieves who broke into a southern German museum and stole hundreds of ancient gold coins got in and out in nine minutes without raising an alarm, authorities said Wednesday, in what officials said was the work of organized crime.
Police have launched an international manhunt for the thieves and their loot, including 483 Celtic coins and a lump of unwrought gold discovered in 1999 during an archaeological dig near the present-day town of Munching. It happened.
Guido Lemmer, deputy chief of Bavaria’s State Criminal Police Office, described how at 1:17 a.m. on Tuesday, cables were cut at the telecom center in München, less than a mile from the Celtic and Roman Museum, leaving the region in limbo. I lost communication networks.
Mayor Herbert Nerb said German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung: “They cut out the whole Manching.”
Lemmer said the museum’s security system recorded a door being opened at 1:26 a.m. and then how the thieves left again at 1:35 a.m. In those nine minutes, the criminals would have broken open the display cabinet and taken out the treasure.
Bavarian Science and Arts Minister Markus Bloom said the evidence points to the work of professionals.
“It’s clear that you don’t just march into a museum and take this treasure with you,” he told public broadcaster BR. “It is highly secured and thus there is a suspicion that we are dealing with a case of organized crime.”
Officials, however, admitted that there was no guard present at the museum throughout the night.
Rupert Gabbard, head of the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection in Munich, said the alarm system was considered to provide sufficient security.
Gabbard said the collection is of great importance both to the local community of Manching and to archaeologists across Europe.
He said the bowl-shaped coins, which date to around 100 BC, were made from Bohemian river gold and showed how the Celtic settlement at Manching had connections across Europe.
Gabbard estimated the treasure’s value at around 1.6 million euros ($1.65 million).
“Archaeologists hope that the coins will remain in their original state and reappear at some point,” he said. They are well documented and will be difficult to sell, he said.
“The worst option, a meltdown, would be a total loss for us,” he said, adding that the material value of gold would only go up to 250,000 euros at current market prices.
Gabbard said the size of the trio suggests it could be a “war chest of a tribal chief”. It was found inside a sack buried under the building’s foundations, and was the largest discovery made during a regular archaeological dig in Germany in the 20th century.
Lemer, the deputy police chief, said Interpol and Europol had already been alerted to the coin theft and a 20-strong special investigation unit, named ‘Oppidum’ after the Latin term, had been set up to track down the culprits. Given, established. .
Lemer said there were “parallels” between the Manching robbery and the A’s. Large gold coin Also in Berlin — What may be the biggest gem heist in history. Both have been blamed on a Berlin-based crime family.
“We cannot say if there is any link,” he added. “Just this: We are in contact with colleagues to investigate all possible angles.”
In 2020, German police said they hadThree suspects in Dresden robbery.