Footage shows thief using axe to smash display case in Green Vault of Royal Palace

Police in Germany have released dramatic CCTV footage of one of two suspects in the Dresden jewellery heist using an axe to smash a display case in the state museums Green Vault.

Two robbers snatched priceless 18th-century jewellery in an astonishing smash-and-grab raid from the Grnes Gewlbes jewel room at the Royal Palace in the east German city on Monday morning.

Police have called for witnesses to step forward and released images of the stolen items, which were taken from a collection of jewellery that once belonged to the ruler of Saxony, Augustus the Strong.

A forensic expert searches the area in front of the Royal Palace in Dresden. Photograph: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa/AFP via Getty Images

CCTV footage of the two men has also been released by investigators. In a black-and-white clip, one of the two suspects was seen using an axe to smash a display case.

They launched their raid after setting off a fire at an electrical panel near the museum in the early hours of Monday, deactivating its alarm as well as street lighting, police said.

Despite the power cut, a surveillance camera kept working and filmed two men breaking in. The whole act lasted only a few minutes, said police in a statement.

The suspects then fled in an Audi A6 and remain on the run. The apparent getaway car was found on fire later elsewhere in the city, said police, adding that the vehicle was being examined for clues.

Dresden museum officials on Tuesday said the thieves had stolen less than originally feared and had only been able to take what they could reach through holes smashed into the display case.

The items included a large diamond brooch and a diamond epaulette, said the Green Vault director, Dirk Syndram, but he did not give a complete list and has only said the losses were culturally priceless.

Treasures left behind included diamond-encrusted shoe buckles and a diamond-studded sword.



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