Who stole the Swedish crown jewels?
Hollywood heist prompts Europe-wide manhunt, but robbers could struggle to sell stolen artefacts
Two thieves have made off with the Swedish crown jewels in a daring daylight raid straight out of a Hollywood film.
The robbers, who have prompted a Europe-wide manhunt, made off with two priceless crowns and a golden orb dating back to the 17th-century, which were on display in an alarmed cabinet in the hilltop Strangnas Cathedral, 60 miles west of Stockholm.
“One of the missing crowns belonged to Karl IX, who reigned from 1604-1611, and the other to his wife, Kristina,” Quartz reports. “The royals were buried with the headgear, which was later exhumed and put on public display.”
One eye witness told The Daily Mail he saw two men run from the building, jump into a small white motorboat and speed away.
It is believed the thieves fled via the vast system of lakes west of Stockholm. Police mobilised a huge search operation with a helicopter and boats to try to find the men and recover the items, but they have so far been unsuccessful.
Swedish police spokesman, Thomas Agnevick, said the thieves may have left their boat and continued their escape by car. Interpol has been alerted in case they have already have left the country.
However, even if they do evade capture, many are sceptical that they could ever sell the stolen items.
Maria Ellior, from the Swedish police’s national operations department, told Swedish news outlet Aftonbladet: “It’s too difficult to translate these things into some kind of value. They are such unique objects. What usually happens with this type of object is that they are recovered sooner or later, because there are very few people who are prepared to handle them. We have high hopes of getting them back.”