In what looks more like a Hollywood movie plot than real-word crime news, crowns belonging to two 17th-century members of the Swedish royal family – King Karl (Charles) IX and Queen Kristina (Christina) – were stolen by two perpetrators as they raided a church in the country's southeast. The burglars also took a royal orb, a traditional symbol of monarchical power that was surmounted by a cross.
Police say the burgled regalia are "invaluable objects of national interest" and cannot be given a price tag.
Having taken the national treasures on Tuesday afternoon, while staff were present in the church, the perpetrators promptly jumped into a small motor boat moored below the church and made away with the loot. They are still on the run despite an expansive police hunt.
The crowns and the orb were reportedly exhibited in locked glass cases, which ultimately proved to be no match for the two thieves. Queen Kristina, who ruled Sweden from 1632 to 1654, and Karl IX, the King of Sweden in 1604-1611, were buried wearing the now-stolen crowns, but the regalia were later put on display for churchgoers.
Police have appealed to the public for any information that may lead to the men's arrest. So far, the pursuit has been in vain, with police spokesman Thomas Agnevik admitting that "it's 1-0 to them right now."
There is even no definitive description of what the thieves' "small and open motorboat," which the police are searching for, looks like.
"We have some different information about how exactly the boat looked. We are now examining all the tips we receive," Agnevik said, as cited by local media.
Police believe that the perpetrators might have abandoned the motorboat, transferred to a car, and are either going west, or east towards the capital Stockholm.
Since it's unclear what road the suspects could have taken, police are seeking to cover all escape routes. "We are spreading out in all directions," Agnevik said.
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