Berlin police say suspects used a wheelbarrow to make off with a 100-kilogram (221-pound) gold coin worth millions. Police said on Tuesday at least two burglars broke into the Bode Museum early on Monday morning using a ladder to climb up to a window from elevated railway tracks running alongside the building.
The thieves grabbed the “Big Maple Leaf” coin, on loan to the museum’s coin collection, loaded it onto the wheelbarrow, then carted it out of the building and along the tracks across the Spree river before descending into a park on a rope and fleeing in a getaway car.
The Big Maple Leaf is almost pure gold, making it into the Guinness Book of Records for its purity of 999.99/1000 gold.
Police say the three-centimeter (1.2-inch) thick coin, with a diameter of 53 centimeters (20.9 inches) and worth some USD 4.5 million for the gold alone, was likely damaged in the theft.
According to a Toronto-based security company chief, Chris Mathers, ‘it could be melted into slabs already and would be cooling right now.”
Mathers further added, ‘he wasn’t surprised that the thieves knew exactly what they wanted when they scaled a step ladder and entered the 113-year-old museum and took away The Big Maple Leaf.”
According to Royal Canadian Mint spokesman Alex Reeves, the coin does not belong to the mint and the owner is unknown.
However, police have denied any comment on the museum’s security cameras or alarm systems.
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