17th-century crown jewels belonged to the Swedish Royal family were stolen from a cathedral, including two royal crowns and an orb. The thieves made an escape on a motorboat. The mastermind of the heist is still subjected to investigation but police believed that it would be difficult for the thieves to sell these national treasures.
Strängnäs Cathedral in southeastern Sweden
Royal jewels stolen from the cathedral
The incident took place at Strängnäs Cathedral in southeastern Sweden, where prominent royal members like Karl IX (1550-1611) and Kristina (1573-1625) were buried there. Karl IX was the King of Sweden from 1604 until his death in 1611. The two crowns are the burial crowns from 1611 but were later exhumed and put on display.
In the midday on Tuesday, the cathedral was open to visitors at the time and a lunch fair was being held in a side chapel. The raiders smashed the glass cabinet and took two crowns and an orb. They fled from the building and made their escape in a small white motorboat in Lake Mälaren. It is believed that the thieves fled via the vast system of lake west of Stockholm.
The interior of Strängnäs Cathedral
The stolen items were displayed inside a cabinet
A witness giving accounts about the heist
The thieves triggered the alarm after smashing the glass. Police mobilised a huge search operation with a helicopter and boats but failed to find the thieves.
The crowns and orb are made of gold and enamel and encrusted with beads, crystals and pearls. Swedish police said it is difficult to put an economic value on the items because they are of historic importance. It was not only a theft of Strängnäs Cathedral, but a theft of Swedish society.
Karl IX was King of Sweden from 1604 until his death.
Police were hunting down the thieves at Lake Mälaren
Speculation in the art world has it that the theft was a premeditated crime. Since it would be difficult for the thieves to sell these stolen items, there is a possibility that some collectors have their eyes on the crowns and an orb, and schemed to bring these national treasures into their private collection.