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German court convicts five men in 2019 jewelry heist

Visitors stand in the Jewel Room during the reopening of the Green Vault Museum in Dresden's Royal Palace of the Dresden State Art Collections in Dresden, Germany, May 30, 2020. Associated Press/Photo by Jens Meyer, file

German court convicts five men in 2019 jewelry heist

The Dresden state court convicted five men Tuesday of stealing 21 pieces of jewelry containing more than 4,300 diamonds from a vault in a Dresden museum in 2019. The pieces were part of a treasure trove collected in the 18th century by Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony. They were insured for at least $129 million. Authorities say they’ve found many of the treasures but fear the rest are forever lost. The convicted men are part of the “Remmo clan,” an Arab organized crime family whose members have faced charges ranging from wire fraud to extortion and robbery.

How did they break in? Officials said they broke into the vault using a hydraulic cutting machine they stole from a specialized tool factory. They cut a triangle in the grating on the corner window of the vault, away from the security cameras, then put it back in. Later, they used a firebomb to cut power to the block and entered the vault through the hole. They used hammers to smash the glass display cases, looted the jewelry, and drove away. They were caught several months later in Germany’s capital.

Dig deeper: Read Onize Ohikere’s report in World Tour on bank heists in Lebanon.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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