The Slatest

Swedish Thieves Escape by Boat in Crown Jewel Heist

The jewels at Strängnäs: two gold scepters, two crowns, and two gold orbs.
The crown jewels at Strängnäs.
Swedish police

Around midday Tuesday, the cathedral of the Swedish town of Strängnäs, not far from Stockholm, was hosting a event for the public in one of its side chapels. The main cathedral was open to any visitors who wanted to take a look inside the 13th-century building.

That building also happened to be where some of Sweden’s most priceless royal jewels were held: a golden orb and two crowns, each dripping in pearls and precious stones, from the funeral regalia of the 17th-century monarchs Karl IX and Kristina the Elder. And it is now the location one of its most high-profile jewel heists.

According to the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, during the lunchtime event, two thieves smashed the protective cases covering the jewels—which would have triggered alarms, according to the BBC—and fled with their loot toward the nearby but vast Lake Mälaren, which is dotted with hundreds of islands. There, a witness saw the men jump into a small motorboat and speed off.

Quickly, police launched a manhunt, with helicopters and boats, but they found no trace of the two men.

“The score is 1-0 for them right now,” the police spokesman said, according to DW.

Fortunately for any Swedes concerned about national pride in the wake of the heist, police have said that the jewels are a little too priceless to sell. “What usually happens with this type of object is that they are recovered sooner or later, because there are very few people who are prepared to handle such items,” the police spokesman said.