Berlin police make arrests over $4m gold coin heist

The unlikely robbery from one of Berlin’s most prestigious museums in the centre of the capital, from behind bullet-proof glass stunned Germans.

FILE: The coin, stolen from the bode Museum in Berlin, is made out of pure gold, weighs about 100 kilos and has a face value of around $1 million. Picture: smb.museum.

BERLIN - German special police commandos arrested several people during raids in Berlin on Wednesday over the spectacular robbery of a 100kg gold coin, worth about $4 million, from Berlin’s Bode Museum in March.

Pictures showed armed police in balaclavas and paramedics outside a property in the Neukoelln area of Berlin.

“We are at the moment conducting searches and executing arrest warrants in several places in Berlin concerning the break-in at the Bode Museum in March,” said Berlin police.

The unlikely robbery from one of Berlin’s most prestigious museums in the centre of the capital, from behind bullet-proof glass stunned Germans.

The Canadian coin, named “Big Maple Leaf”, which bears the image of Queen Elizabeth II, is made out of pure gold with a material value of about $4 million. Its face value is about $1 million.

The coin, 53cm in diameter and 3cm thick, even made it into the Guinness Book of Records for its unrivalled degree of purity. It was loaned to the Bode Museum in December 2010.

Police had said it was probably stolen by a group of robbers who broke into the museum through a window, possibly with a ladder. They had also said they would expect the coin to be melted down.

The Bode has one of the world’s largest coin collections with more than 540,000 items.

German media showed a picture of a man being led away by police with a white garment thrown over his head to disguise his identity.