Dresden Green Vault jewelry heist trial starts | News | DW | 28.01.2022

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Dresden Green Vault jewelry heist trial starts

Just over two years after a daring jewelry heist at the Green Vault museum, six men accused of stealing "priceless" artifacts are facing justice. The jewels are estimated to be worth €113.8 million ($135 million).

Watch video 03:45

German jewelry heist suspect arrested

The trial of six men accused of carrying out one of the biggest jewel thefts in modern German history got underway in Dresden on Friday.

Prosecutors have alleged that the men were responsible for the November 2019 heist at Dresden's Green Vault Museum, stealing treasures ($129 million).

The men, aged between 23 and 28, will be tried in a juvenile court, as two of them were legal minors at the time of the heist. They face charges of organized robbery and arson.

Watch video 03:05

Trial starts in Dresden museum jewelry heist: DW's Emma Chaze reports

How the heist happened

Police said the robbers set fire to a power distribution box near the Green Vault Museum to plunge the area into darkness.

They then sawed through iron bars to gain entry to the display room.

Security camera footage released by Dresden police after the heist shows two suspects entering the room, waving their flashlights as they step across the black-and-white-tiled floor.

They then shatter a glass display case with an ax before grabbing the jewelry.

Police arrived on the scene five minutes after the alarm had been triggered, by which time the robbers and the jewels had gone.

The stolen jewelry has not been traced. The director of Dresden's state art collection, Marion Ackermann, refused to value the stolen items, calling them "priceless."

They caused around a million euros' worth of damage to the museum and car park.

Watch video 02:00

Green Vault jewelry heist trial opens in Dresden

What we know about the accused

Three suspects were arrested after police raided 18 Berlin properties in November 2020.

Two brothers were caught in December 2020 and May 2021, and the final suspect was arrested last summer.

Two of the suspects had already been convicted for stealing a 100 kilogram (220-pound) gold coin from Berlin's Bode Museum in 2017.

During their chase, police said that the suspects were members of the so-called "Remmo clan," who are notorious for ties to organized crime.

Four other men were under investigation on suspicion of aiding and abetting by scoping out the crime scene the previous day.

The trial is expected to run until October.

lo/aw (AP, AFP, dpa)

 

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