The Swedish Job: Brazen thieves steal Sweden's crown jewels

The Swedish Job: Brazen thieves steal Sweden's crown jewels

The crowns and orb were on display in a locked and alarmed glass case in Strängnäs Cathedral, about an hour from the Swedish capital of Stockholm.

Among the jewels stolen are two royal crowns of King Karl IX and Queen Kristina, as well as a royal orb. The two crowns are burial crowns dating from 1611 which were later exhumed and put on display.

Thieves snatched some of Sweden's crown jewels before escaping in a speedboat as part of a Hollywood-style heist in broad daylight.

Tom Rowsell, who was having lunch outside the cathedral where he is to be married this weekend, told daily Aftonbladet he saw two men dash from the building toward a motorboat waiting on Lake Malaren.

The thieves have not yet been captured.

A police spokesperson Thomas Agnevik said: "We are looking for a small and open motorboat".

The stolen items, made of gold, pearls and other precious materials, once belonged to Charles IX and his wife Christina, who ruled Sweden in the 17th century.

"I knew immediately that they were burglars because of the way they were behaving. We contacted the police and told them and they told us they had taken something from the Cathedral".

The theft would be logged at Interpol, enabling an worldwide search, TT said.

Later another police spokesman said the thieves could have left the boat and jumped into a getaway vehicle. Police have used helicopters to try to track them down. "It's just not possible to sell these kinds of objects", the national police coordinator for thefts of cultural artefacts, Maria Ellior, told news agency TT.

'I think it's terrible, it's despicable that people would steal from a holy building and take something of historic and monetary value.

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