Gone in 9 minutes: How Celtic gold heist unfolded in Germany

BERLIN (AP) — Thieves who broke right into a southern German museum and stole a whole lot of historical gold cash bought out and in in 9 minutes with out elevating the alarm, officers mentioned Wednesday, in an extra signal that the heist was the work of organized criminals.

Police have launched a world hunt for the thieves and their loot, consisting of 483 Celtic cash and a lump of unworked gold that had been found throughout an archeological dig close to the present-day city of Manching in 1999.

Guido Limmer, the deputy head of Bavaria’s State Legal Police Workplace, described how at 1:17 a.m. (0017 GMT) on Tuesday cables had been lower at a telecoms hub about one kilometer (lower than a mile) from the Celtic and Roman Museum in Manchning, knocking out communications networks within the area.

Safety methods on the museum recorded {that a} door was pried open at 1:26 a.m. after which how the thieves left once more at 1:35 a.m., Limmer mentioned. It was in these 9 minutes that the culprits will need to have smashed open a show cupboard and scooped out the treasure.

Limmer mentioned there have been “parallels” between the heist in Manching and the theft of priceless jewels in Dresden and a big gold coin in Berlin lately. Each have been blamed on a Berlin-based crime household.

“Whether or not there’s a hyperlink we are able to’t say,” he added. “Solely this a lot: we’re in contact with colleagues to analyze all doable angles.”

Bavaria’s minister of science and humanities, Markus Blume, mentioned proof pointed to the work of execs.

“It’s clear that you just don’t merely march right into a museum and take this treasure with you,” he informed public broadcaster BR. “It’s extremely secured and as such there’s a suspicion that we’re quite coping with a case of organized crime.”

Officers acknowledged, nevertheless, that there was no guard on the museum in a single day.

An alarm system was deemed to supply enough safety, mentioned Rupert Gebhard, who heads the Bavarian State Archaeological Assortment in Munich.

Gebhard mentioned the hoard was of nice worth each for the area people in Manching and for archaeologists throughout Europe.

The bowl-shaped cash, courting again to about 100 B.C., had been produced from Bohemian river gold and present how the Celtic settlement at Manching had hyperlinks throughout Europe, he mentioned.

Gebhard estimated the worth of the treasure at about 1.6 million euros ($1.65 million).

“The archaeologists hope that the cash stay of their authentic state and reappear once more in some unspecified time in the future,” he mentioned, including that they’re nicely documented and can be exhausting to promote.

“The worst choice, the melting down, would imply a complete loss for us,” he mentioned, noting that the fabric worth of the gold itself would solely run to about 250,000 euros at present market costs.

Gebhard mentioned the scale of the trove urged it might need been “the struggle chest of a tribal chief.” It was discovered inside a sack buried beneath constructing foundations, and was the most important such discovery made throughout common archaeological excavations in Germany within the twentieth century.

Limmer, the deputy police chief, mentioned Interpol and Europol have already been alerted to the cash’ theft and a 20-strong particular investigations unit, codenamed ‘Oppidum’ after the Latin time period for a Celtic settlement, has been established to trace down the culprits.

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