Thieves steal Swedish crown jewels in daring speedboat heist

By @chelean on
Crowns of Swedish King Charles IX and Queen Christina and the royal orb were taken by thieves in speedboat heist
Crowns of Swedish King Charles IX and Queen Christina and the royal orb were taken by thieves in speedboat heist Swedish Police

Thieves have escaped with prized Swedish crown jewels in a daring heist, the Swedish Police Authority said. The thieves stole the Swedish Royal Regalia treasures from their display cases in Strängnäs Cathedral on Tuesday.

According to police statement, the thieves swiped the crown jewels around noon when the jewels were under lock and key and displayed in a case. Two men smashed the protective cases to take the crown jewels. They then jumped on a motorboat docked below the church to escape. Boats, helicopters and cars were dispatched in the chase. However, they have yet to arrest anyone.

Police said the thieves might have ditched their motorboat at some point to head “west into the hinterlands, or east to Stockholm.”

Strängnäs Cathedral in Strängnäs, Sweden Strängnäs Cathedral in Strängnäs, Sweden  Riggwelter, Wikimedia Commons

“The score is 1-0 for them right now, but we don’t know what it would be like tomorrow,” police spokesperson Thomas Agnevik said, refusing to describe the thieves as professional. He said it was possible they had left traces at the scene.

As for how much the stolen jewels ­— two crowns and an orb — were valued, he said it was not possible to put an economic value on them. “These are invaluable objects of national interest,” he said.

The stolen items were the crowns of King Charles IX and his wife, Queen Christina, who ruled the country in the 17th century. The crown jewels were buried with them in the cathedral upon the king and queen’s deaths in 1611 and 1625 respectively. They were later exhumed and put on display.

The items, according to church dean Christofer Lundgren, were insured, but he said it was the cultural value of the treasures that was more important.

“These items that are completely unique, well-known … in Sweden and probably even internationally,” he told Sydsvenskan newspaper.