Three men were nabbed by authorities in connection to the 2019 robbery of Grünes Gewölbe or Green Vault Museum in Dresden, Germany.
The suspects, two of whom were aged 21 while the other was a 23-year-old man, were arrested after German police deployed over 1,600 officers in a massive search in the city.
The three men were also said to be members of the syndicate that robbed Bode Museum in Berlin in 2017, whose other members were already sentenced early this year.
One of the sentenced members was the same 23-year-old man arrested by the police in the recent raid in connection to the Green Vault robbery. The suspect, however, had yet to start his four-and-a-half-year jail time following an appeal.
“I can confirm that one of the suspects has already been sentenced because of the theft at the Bode Museum,” Dresden state prosecutor Jurgen Schmidt was quoted as saying.
The two 21-year-olds were also discovered to be wanted persons for gang robbery and arson cases. Meanwhile, the 23-year-old man was dubbed by the local media as Wissam Remmo, a member of one of a number of Neukolln-based clans of Lebanese descent, whose reputation inspired “4 Blocks,” a 2017 German TV Drama.
Security footage revealed that two men broke through the museum on November 25, 2019, through a grilled window before breaking a glass case using an axe. They escaped even before security personnel arrived and successfully ran away with EUR1 billion worth of jewellery.
According to investigations, the thieves used an Audi S6 as a getaway vehicle, before burning it in an underground car park. They transferred to a Mercedes disguised as a taxi, in the hope to fully escape their pursuers. However, CCTV cameras and DNA tests made on the traces in the burnt car led the authorities to the suspects.
Authorities feared that the stolen jewellery had already been sold in the black market, as its whereabouts were uncertain. The collection dated back to the 18th century, when Augustus the Strong, former king of Poland, commissioned brilliant jewellery to rival France’s King Louise XIV.
The jewellery was able to survive the second world war but was taken by the Soviet Union. It was returned to the Green Vault in 1958.
Photo by Gary Todd/Flickr