Thieves steal priceless Swedish crown jewels and escape by speedboat

By Meaghan Wray

The Swedish Royal Family has had three pieces of their priceless crown jewels stolen in a heist straight out of a Hollywood film. An orb and two crowns dating back to the 17 th century were stolen by thieves on Tuesday (July 31), who escaped capture by hoping into speedboats on Lake Malaren. The pieces were taken from their alarm-locked glass cases in the Cathedral of Strangnas, a 900-year-old church.

Though the Washington Post reports that the family likely has insurance on the jewels, officials have stated that the value of the historic treasures cannot be measured. Thomas Agnevik, a police spokesperson, said in a statement: “It’s 1-0 to them right now. I have talked to someone at the county administrative board that says it is not possible to put an economic value on them – these are invaluable objects of national interest.”

Crown Princess Victoria and Queen Silvia sparkled in their crowns at the Nobel Prize banquet in 2017. Photo: © Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

No one has been arrested or taken into custody in connection to the crime, and the particular lake is full of islands, likely making the thieves tough to follow. “We are looking for a small and open motorboat. We have some different information about how exactly the boat looked,” Thomas explained. “We are not examining all the tips we receive … The police’s work has continued during the night but it has not resulted in any significant successes in the form of suspected persons or detention. The police are still keen to get further tips from the public.”

Eyewitness Tom Roswell spoke to NBC News’ Swedish partner Aftonbladet, saying he saw two men jump into a “little white boat,” and added: “We contacted the police and they told us they had taken something from the cathedral.” The crowns, plated in gold and encrusted with jaw-dropping stones and pearls, once belonged to Queen Kristina and King Karl IX and were originally buried with them but later exhumed. The crowns date back as far as 1611. Because of their significance to the Royal Family, the items are essentially impossible to sell.

The cathedral where the crown jewels were kept is 900 years old. Photo: © Getty Images

Officials seem confident about the eventual return of the family heirlooms, since there are few people experienced with handling an item of such value and importance. “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,” Thomas remarked. “We have high hopes of getting them back.”

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Sweden’s royal jewels have come under attack. Back in 2012, a friend of the family attempted to steal some of their pieces amounting to more than USD$120,000. The thief tried to steal them from a private apartment owned by Princess Christina , who is the sister of King Carl XVI Gustaf .

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