Dresden jewel heist: Thieves hack their way into museum's 'priceless' display

After smashing a display case to pieces with an ax, thieves in Dresden, Germany, escaped with $1.1 billion in precious jewels.

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The thieves broke into Dresden’s Green Vault, making off with three sets of 18th-century jewelry. Each of the three sets contained dozens of gems.

THIEVES STEAL ‘PRICELESS’ JEWELS, GOLD FROM GERMAN MUSEUM

The photo provided by the State Art Collection in Dresden shows a big breast bow from the jewelry that was stolen from the Green Vault early Monday. (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden/Juergen Karpinski via AP)

This newly released video shows two bandits equipped with flashlights and axes breaking into the darkened room of Dresden’s Royal Palace. They came in through a window, the lights in front of which had been disabled by a fire at an electrical junction box near the museum. The bandits were able to get past the bars and safety glass defending the collection.

They then proceeded to hack their way through one of the glass cases containing the priceless gems.

Thieves broke into Dresden’s Green Vault early Monday morning, Nov. 25, 2019. (Police Saxony/dpa via AP)

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The collection was part of the treasury of August the Strong of Saxony, which was established in 1723 and contains around 4,000 objects of gold and precious stones.

Within minutes of entry, the pair got away with the jewels and were reportedly seen speeding off in an Audi A6.

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Police are carrying out forensic exams of the crime scene and museum officials report that they have not yet been able to determine whether all of the 100 or so pieces comprising the stolen sets of jewels were missing.

German officials said it would be impossible to sell the pieces on the open market.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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