In a shocking heist at a Swedish cathedral, two thieves stole shiny crown jewels of Sweden’s royal family that were put on display before escaping in a speedboat. According to The Washington Post, on Tuesday, the two robbers stole a 17th-century orb and two golden crowns from Strangnas cathedral near Stockholm where they had been on display in a glass box, before escaping by speedboat into the Malaren lake, which spans 74 miles and is filled with hundreds of small islands. The two royal crowns belonged to King Karl IX, who reigned in the 17th century.
The theft happened around lunchtime when the 13th-century cathedral was open to visitors. The two men used women’s bikes to race toward a motorboat near the bay by the cathedral, hurriedly jumped on board, and it sped off.
Reports say that an alarm went off after the two men accessed the jewels and that security precautions were in accordance with strict guidelines. Although the royal family appears to have insurance covering the jewels, officials said that their value could hardly be measured or replaced.
Swedish police officials have launched a manhunt by land, sea and air, but by Tuesday evening had not been able to catch the robbers. However, authorities have appeared to have few indications about where the thieves may have escaped.
Sweden’s crown jewels haven’t been worn since the early 20th century and are used mainly for display purposes these days. However, they have now caught the attention of thieves along with the visitors. In 2012, a friend of the royal family was convicted of stealing royal jewels worth more than $120,000, which he had purloined from a private apartment belonging to Princess Christina, the sister of King Carl XVI Gustaf. The thief was able to sell only some of the stolen valuables, throwing the rest of the loot off a bridge instead.
Officials said that they have high hopes of getting the jewels back. They said that these valuables are recovered sooner or later as very few people are prepared to handle such items.