(CTN NEWS) – On Wednesday, German authorities announced the arrest of four suspects involved in the theft of hundreds of ancient Celtic Coins from a museum in Bavaria last year.
The thieves targeted the Celtic and Roman Museum in Manching, making off with 483 Celtic coins that were unearthed during an archaeological excavation in 1999, dating back to around 100 B.C.
Before the heist, the thieves strategically cut cables at a telecommunications hub, disrupting local networks to aid their escape.
Remarkably, they managed to enter and exit the museum in just nine minutes on the early morning of November 22 without triggering any alarms.
Arrests Made in Ancient Celtic Coins Heist after Search Operation in Northern Germany
On Tuesday, the authorities carried out a search operation in the northern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, leading to the arrest of the suspects involved in the theft.
Bavaria’s interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, described the apprehended individuals as “professional burglars.”
According to Ch Insp Ludwig Waldinger from the Bavarian police, the investigation is still ongoing, and they are currently searching properties in multiple federal states as part of their mission.
The coins, considered the most significant Celtic gold discovery of the 20th Century, were found during an archaeological excavation near Manching in 1999. They had been on public display since 2006.
During the theft, the culprits were suspected of tampering with the museum’s alarm system by cutting nearby internet cables, causing extensive outages.
As a result, the alarm did not activate when they pried open a door, allowing them to complete the robbery in less than 10 minutes. Despite this, the system managed to record the timing of the theft.
Authorities were investigating the possibility of organized crime involvement and potential connections to previous heists.
Notably, in 2017, a massive 100kg gold coin was stolen from a museum in Berlin, followed by a dramatic diamond heist at Dresden’s Green Vault museum, where 21 valuable pieces of jewelry were taken on CCTV two years later.
The loss of the coins deeply affected both the museum and the community at large.
Rupert Gebhard, head of collections at the State Archaeological Collection in Munich, expressed the feeling of losing a cherished companion with the theft of these historical artifacts.
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