German police raid several homes in search for stolen Canadian gold coin

German police raid several homes in search for stolen Canadian gold coin

German police raid several homes in search for stolen Canadian gold coin

The Big Maple Leaf coin was stolen from Berlin's Bode Museum on Museum Island in March and one of the four arrested is a museum security guard, The Local said. Investigators said after the heist that it was unlikely that the coin would ever be found since the thieves can easily melt it.

About 300 police commandos arrested the men, aged between 18 and 20, in raids on 13 buildings in the Neukölln district of Berlin.

The security guard who worked at the museum is known to police for licence plate theft and not paying for petrol, according to newspaper Tagesspiegel. "My hope that we'll recover even parts of the coin is unfortunately relatively low".

The mint does not track coins after they are sold, Alex Reeves, a spokesman for the mint, told The Washington Post.

Police also searched a jewellery store in the Berlin neighbourhood, saying they had indications the store may have been involved in the possible sale of the gold.

"The crime was too professional for us to expect to find the coin", he added.

But they found no sign of the loot - Canada's "Big Maple Leaf" coin, which has a face value of one million Canadian dollars and is estimated to be worth 3.75 million euros ($4.3 million) on the gold market.

A vehicle was also seized by special police forces this morning (July 12) as several apartments and an Arabic jewellery shop were also searched.

Four people have been arrested after a huge raid by German police hunting for the "Big Maple Leaf" coin that was stolen from a Berlin museum last week.

The Bode Museum, which has a collection of coins and medals billed as a "chronicle of human history forged in metal", also showcases Byzantine sculpture and paintings.

The coin is "about the size of a manhole cover, more or less", Reeves said.

The police, who conducted the raids wearing masks and strapped with heavy weapons according to the Associated Press, are questioning nine others in connection with the missing coin.

"Why did the Royal Canadian Mint make the world's purest and largest gold bullion coin?" the mint's website asks rhetorically.

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