In Manching, Germany, thieves stole a large amount of Celtic coins. The stolen goods are estimated at millions of euros. They supposedly managed to break into the museum after sabotaging local telephone and internet connections.
On Tuesday, employees of the Manxing Museum discovered a display case smashed and a collection of 450 coins stolen, local police told AFP.
The value of the stolen items is so high that the Bavarian State Investigation Service (LKA) has taken over the investigation. “The robbery must have taken place in the early hours of the morning,” says an LKA spokesperson. “It was as classic as you’d imagine in a bad movie.”
No alarm was raised during the robbery because unknown assailants had paralyzed an important communications center during the night. According to police reports, they broke into a telecom provider’s technical room, where they cut several fiber-optic cables. As a result, 13,000 people were without the Internet and telephone. The mobile phone network was also initially affected by power outages. It can take up to three days to restore connections.
The museum is actually a very secured site, but all contact with the police has been cut off
“They cut off all of Manching,” Mayor Herbert Nerb told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung. “The museum is actually a very safe location, but all contacts with the police have been cut off.” According to the mayor, it is quite clear that professionals are behind the theft. He says the disappearance of the Celtic treasure is a “total disaster” for his Bavarian village.
The collection of gold coins is one of the main attractions of the Celtic-Roman Museum in Manching. According to the museum’s website, the hoard of gold is the greatest find of Celtic gold in the last century. The coins were discovered in 1999, but they date back to the third century BC and are worth “several million euros,” police say.
“The loss of the Celtic treasure is a disaster,” Bavarian Minister of Science and Arts Markus Blume told the dpa news agency. “As evidence of our history, gold coins are irreplaceable.”
A complete series of thefts
The coin theft is the latest in a string of sensational museum thefts in Germany.
In another theft in 2017, the “great maple leaf” – the second largest gold coin in the world – was stolen from the prestigious Bode Museum in Berlin.
During a night raid on the Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) in Dresden in November 2019, thieves stole 21 jewels and other valuables. According to the authorities, members of a known crime family are behind the theft, but the theft – including a sword with a diamond-encrusted hilt and a 49-carat white diamond-encrusted shoulder piece – is currently missing. According to insurance experts, the value stolen from the Green Vault is at least 113.8 million euros.
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