Crime

6 Charged in Connection with Green Vault Jewel Heist

CrimeSep 07, 2021

6 Charged in Connection with Green Vault Jewel Heist

The men are charged with the theft of 18th century royal jewels from the museum in Dresden, Germany in November 2019.

Six suspects have been charged with breaking into the jewel room of the historic Green Vault in Dresden, Germany in November 2019 and stealing several pieces dating back to the 18th century. (Image credit: © Grünes Gewölbe, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Photo: David Brandt)
Berlin—Six suspects have been charged in connection with the theft of 18th century royal jewels from the Green Vault museum in Dresden, Germany in November 2019.

The men, German nationals ages 22 to 27, are charged with organized robbery and arson after breaking into the museum and swiping 21 pieces of jewelry with an insured value of at least $135 million, as per an NPR report.

Marion Ackermann, Dresden’s State Art Collections director, said at the time of the theft that the true value of the items couldn’t be measured.

“We cannot give a value because it is impossible to sell,” she told reporters. “The material value doesn’t reflect the historic meaning.”

The thieves are said to have lit a fire ahead of the break-in, disrupting the power supply to the lights above the museum windows and the streetlights outside.

An unregistered Audi A6 was also found set on fire nearby in an underground parking lot, which Dresden police confirmed matched the description of the getaway car.

The investigation was dubbed “Operation Epaulette.”

The missing jewels are still unaccounted for, and the suspects have not addressed the accusations against them.

SEE: Some of the Jewelry Stolen from the Green Vault


Two of the suspects were already serving sentences for robbing the Bode Museum in Berlin, swiping a 220-pound Canadian gold coin dubbed the “Big Maple Leaf.”

That coin, valued at around $4.2 million, has also never been recovered, believed by authorities to have been cut into pieces and sold.

The Green Vault is one of the world’s oldest museums, created in 1723 by Augustus the Strong of Saxony, who wanted to establish Dresden as an arts hub.

His treasury, on display in Dresden’s Royal Palace, includes 4,000 jewels, objets d’art, and other historically significant items.

The museum’s most famous treasure is the Dresden Green Diamond, a 41-carat green diamond, which was on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for an exhibition at the time.

Michael Kretschmer, minister president of Saxony, took to Twitter at the time to comment on the heist, stating: “It’s not just the state art collections that were robbed, but us Saxons.”

“One can’t understand the history of Saxony without the Green Vault.”

An indictment was filed at the state court in Dresden, which then decides whether the case will go to trial.

 Related stories will be right here …
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.
tags:

The Latest

EditorsSep 27, 2021
4 Takeaways from the First HardRock Summit

Senior Editor Brecken Branstrator shares insights from the show, including what people have been buying and where it could go from here.

CollectionsSep 27, 2021
Gabriel & Co. Launches Men’s Collection

The fine jewelry design company has a dedicated men’s fine jewelry collection and a men’s wedding band array.

Lab-GrownSep 27, 2021
RJC Is Developing a Standard for Lab-Grown Diamonds, Gems

It will be for all companies that deal in lab-grown materials.

Brought to you by
Bringing Sexy Back: The Allure of COUTURE, Italian Style

Take a tour of Italian designers at COUTURE 2021.

CollectionsSep 27, 2021
BaubleBar’s New NFL Collection Brings Sparkle to Team Spirit

The licensed collection features jewelry inspired by all 32 NFL teams.

Weekly QuizSep 23, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of Sept. 20-24, 2021.
Take the Quiz
MajorsSep 24, 2021
Brilliant Earth Is Now a Public Company

CEO Beth Gerstein said she believes in the jeweler’s omnichannel approach as its retail rollout continues.

Events & AwardsSep 24, 2021
These 3 Companies Will Receive Business Grants from PGI USA

PGI created the program to accelerate the growth of the platinum jewelry market in the U.S.

Brought to you by
What is your Health Care Coverage Strategy?

Health care coverage is a big expense for small businesses - find out how to lower costs long-term instead of every 12 months.

CollectionsSep 24, 2021
Zales Introduces Elvis Presley Men’s Jewelry Line

From its curb link chains to statement diamond rings, the new collection takes inspiration from the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

×