German police make arrests over €4m gold coin heist – by Philip Oltermann (The Guardian – July 12, 2017)

German special police have arrested several people suspected of carrying out an old-fashioned heist of a €4m (£3.6m) 100kg gold coin in Berlin. “We are conducting searches and executing arrest warrants in several places in Berlin concerning the break-in at the Bode Museum in March,” regional police said on Wednesday.

A spokesperson confirmed newspaper reports that the suspects arrested at two properties in the Neukölln district were members of an “Arabic-Kurdish clan” known to investigators in connection with drug smuggling, arms trading and racketeering.

The Berlin state office of criminal investigations tracked down the suspects through DNA evidence.The theft of the Canadian commemorative coin stunned Berliners due to the seeming simplicity of the robbers’ plan.

At least two thieves entered the museum through a third-floor window in the early hours of the morning by propping up a ladder on the elevated tracks of the railway between Hackescher Markt and Friedrichstrasse stations.

They then smashed through the bulletproof cabinet, possibly with a sledgehammer, and made their way back via the same route with the heavy coin in tow – all without being noticed by security personnel or activating the alarm.

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