Nine months after some 3,000 pieces of jewelry were stolen from Dresden’s Royal Palace, German police are one step closer to locating who might have been responsible for the heist. The German-language publication Monopol reports that, on Wednesday, police raided an internet café in Berlin and the apartment of an employee who works there. The authorities, however, have yet to name any suspects in the investigation.
According to the Monopol report, police found SIM cards that an employee at the café may have sold to whoever committed the crime in Dresden. Authorities are hoping that an analysis of the data related to the purchases of the SIM cards will lead them to potential suspects. Police do not know, however, whether the employee was aware of plans to pull off the jewelry heist.
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“We assume that the man was in contact with the perpetrators,” a spokesperson for Berlin’s police told Monopol. Authorities currently believe that as few as seven people worked together to stage the heist, which took place in November 2019.
The raid on the internet café is one of the first significant public-facing developments in the investigation since the theft occurred. Museum guards at the Royal Palace were investigated in connection with the heist in March, but German police have not released many details about the investigation otherwise.
Thieves entered the Green Vault of the Royal Palace on November 25 through a grille that was removed from a ground-floor window. Using an ax, they smashed a showcase featuring some of the most valuable 18th-century jewels on view. While the head of the Royal Palace initially said the jewels were “priceless,” later estimates have pegged the stolen jewels’ worth at around €1 billion ($1.2 billion).