A German court has handed down tough prison sentences to a gang convicted of a spectacular jewel heist at Dresden’s historic Green Vault museum.
The regional court of Dresden on Tuesday gave the five men sentences ranging from four to over six years.
The men, who are all members of the Berlin-based Remmo criminal gang, pleaded guilty to the jewel theft and expressed remorse for their actions.
They were found guilty of especially aggravated arson, dangerous bodily injury, theft with weapons, damage to property, and intentional arson.
The theft from the Green Vault, which contains Europe’s largest treasure collection, is considered one of the most spectacular robberies in German history.
The gang looted 21 pieces of diamond and brilliant-cut jewelry worth 117 million euros (127.5 million U.S. dollars), and caused serious damage when they set fire to an electricity distribution box and a getaway car to cover their tracks.
German authorities subsequently arrested the men during multiple raids in Berlin. After most of the stolen jewels had been returned just before Christmas 2022, some damaged, a plea bargain was struck between the defense, the prosecution, and the court.
Barbara Klepsch, culture minister for the German state of Saxony where Dresden is located, said the verdict had “closed a wound.” She added that the museum’s security strategy had been improved after the heist. (1 euro = 1.09 U.S. dollar) ■