Thieves who broke into a museum in southern Germany and stole hundreds of ancient gold coins were in and out within nine minutes without raising an alarm, officials said Wednesday.
Police have launched an international hunt for the thieves and their loot, consisting of 483 Celtic coins and crude gold nuggets found during archaeological excavations near the present-day town of Manchin in 1999. Did.
Guido Rimmer, deputy director of the Bavarian Criminal Police Service, said at 1:17 am on Tuesday, a cable was cut at a communications hub less than a mile from the Celtic-Roman Museum in Manching, disrupting the region’s communications network. I explained that I was down.
Mayor Herbert Nerve said: German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung: “They cut off all of Manchuria”.
The museum’s security system recorded the door being forced open at 1:26 a.m. and the thief leaving again at 1:35 a.m., Limmer said. It was during those nine minutes that the culprit broke the wardrobe and scooped out the treasure.
Bavarian science and arts minister Markus Blum said there was evidence pointing to the work of experts.
“It’s clear that we’re not just marching into the museum and taking this treasure with us,” he told public broadcaster BR. I have.”
Authorities, however, confirmed that there were no security guards at the museum overnight.
The alarm system was thought to provide sufficient security, according to Rupert Gebhardt, head of the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection in Munich.
Gebhardt said the treasure is of great value to both the Manchin community and archaeologists across Europe.
The bowl-shaped coin, dating from around 100 BC, is made of Bohemian river gold and shows how the Celtic settlement of Manchin had connections throughout Europe.
Gebhardt estimated the treasure’s value at about €1.6 million ($1.65 million).
“Archaeologists hope that the coins will remain in their original state and reappear at some point,” he said, adding that they are well documented and would be difficult to sell. .
“The worst option, a meltdown, would mean a complete loss for us,” he said, noting that the material value of gold itself would only be around €250,000 at current market prices.
Gebhardt said the size of the treasury suggested it may have been “a war fund of a tribal chief.” Found in a bag buried under the foundation of a building, it was the largest discovery made during regular archaeological excavations in Germany in the 20th century.
Deputy Police Chief Limmer said Interpol and Europol had already been alerted to the theft of coins, and that a 20-strong Special Investigation Unit had been identified, codenamed “Oppidum” after the Latin word for a Celtic settlement. , said it was set up to track down the perpetrators. .
Rimmer said there were “similarities” between the robbery and gun theft in Munching. big gold coin not only in berlin — What could have been the greatest jewel heist ever. Both are blamed on Berlin-based crime families.
“If there’s a link we can’t tell you,” he added.
In 2020, German police will:Three suspects in the Dresden robbery.