Thieves flee on motorboat after stealing Swedish crown jewels

Thieves flee on motorboat after stealing Swedish crown jewels

Thieves flee on motorboat after stealing Swedish crown jewels

Authorities in Sweden launched a massive search Wednesday after crown jewels belonging to the country's royal family were stolen by thieves who escaped on a speed boat.

Police have been searching for the culprits with a helicopter and boats, but no arrests have been made.

The stolen items, made of gold, pearls and other precious materials, once belonged to Charles IX and his wife Christina, who ruled Sweden in the 17th century.

The thieves, who have not been identified, and the jewels are being sought internationally via Interpol, Swedish police spokesman Stefan Dangardt said, noting the objects were a "national treasure" and would likely be "very hard to sell". The items had been displayed in a locked case equipped with an alarm, cathedral officials said in a statement.

It is believed the thieves fled via the vast system of lakes west of Stockholm.

A witness to the heist, Tom Rowsell, told the Aftonbladet newspaper he was eating lunch with friends when he saw the two men run "from different directions".

Thieves flee on motorboat after stealing Swedish crown jewels
Thieves flee on motorboat after stealing Swedish crown jewels

SVT police spokesperson Thomas Agnevik said: "It's 1-0 to them right now".

Lars Amreus of the Swedish National Heritage Board said the theft was a great loss for Sweden.

The cathedral was closed today, and a grassy area by the jetty was cordoned off as police inspected the ground for clues.

He said the jewels were priceless and asked people to be on the lookout for the suspects.

While some funeral regalia are kept in the cathedrals of Strangnas, Uppsala and Vasteras, Sweden's crown jewels are in vaults of the treasury under the Royal Castle in Stockholm.

Strangnas Cathedral where the jewels were stolen was taped off by police.

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