Published: Wed, August 01, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Hattie Nash

Thieves steal Swedish royal jewels, escape by speedboat

Thieves steal Swedish royal jewels, escape by speedboat

CROWN jewels belonging to the Swedish royal family were stolen in a daring 007-style heist by thieves who escaped on a motorboat.

The robbers broke into a glass case that held the funeral regalia of King Karl IX and his wife Queen Kristina and swiped the two crowns and an orb from the 17th century.

Eyewitness Tom Rowsell told NBC News' Swedish partner Aftonbladet that he saw two men jump into a "little white boat".

The stolen items are "impossible to sell" due to their uniqueness and high visibility, Maria Ellior of the Swedish police's National Operations Department told the Swedish news agency TT.

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"So we can only speculate about (the thieves) intentions", she added.

Police spokesman Thomas Agnevik refrained from describing them as professional thieves, saying it was possible that they had left traces at the scene.

The gold crowns belonged to King Charles IX and Queen Christina and date back to the early 1600s.

Police believe that the perpetrators might have abandoned the motorboat, transferred to a vehicle, and are either going west, or east towards the capital Stockholm. He also said, "We contacted the police and they told us they had taken something from the cathedral".

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The priceless artefacts were snatched from a cathedral in Strangnas, about an hour west of the capital Stockholm, at lunchtime on Tuesday, police said.

Strangnas is a small town south of Stockholm.

Lars Amreus of the Swedish National Heritage Board said the theft was a great loss for Sweden. They asked the public for help, while Sweden's main news agency, TT, said an worldwide inquiry for the artifacts would be made in Interpol's system.

The cathedral was closed today, and a grassy area by the jetty was cordoned off as police inspected the ground for clues. "It's despicable that people would steal from a holy building and a historical building".

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