Jewel thieves are on the run from police in Sweden, after stealing some of Sweden’s royal jewels from a cathedral, before fleeing in a motorboat.
The theft occurred at about noon on Tuesday in Strängnäs, west of Stockholm, while the church was open to visitors, and a lunch fair was being held nearby.
Local news channel Aftonbladet reported the thieves stole two crowns and an orb, adorned with gold, precious stones and pearls that come from the funeral regalia of Charles IX and Kristina the Elder, dating back to the early 1600s.
Witness Tom Rowell who is getting married in the cathedral next week, told Aftonbladet he saw two men run from the building, jump into a small white motorboat and speed away.
“We contacted the police and told them and they told us that something had been taken from the cathedral,” he said. “I knew immediately they were burglars because of the way they were behaving.”
“It’s despicable that people would steal from a holy building and a historical building,” said Rowell.
Police have mobilised a huge search operation to find the men and recover the items but have so far been unsuccessful. “It’s 1-0 to them right now,” Thomas Agnevik, a police spokesman, told Aftonbladet.
Police and cathedral officials said they did not know the value of the objects that were stolen. “It’s too difficult to translate these things into some kind of value. It’s such a unique object,” said Agnevik.
Catharina Fröjd, who works at Strängnäs cathedral, called the theft “an enormous loss in cultural value and economic value”.