Dresden Castle Green Vault Has Been Robbed, Manhunt Underway

Perpetrators targeted the Green Vault in Dresden Castle, one of the largest collections of treasures in Europe, on Monday.

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Speculation of link between Dresden vault heist and nearby fire

Dresden Police say an electrical box at Dresden’s Theater Square, near the Green Vault, was found burned out early on Monday morning.

The fire knocked out the street lights in the square, the police added, saying they were trying to establish whether there is any connection to the heist.

Additionally, police say they are investigating whether a car found on fire in the city following the break-in has any links with the robbery.

Operation Epaulette

Authorities looking into the brazen heist at the Green Vault in Dresden Castle have named the investigation “Epaulette,” according to Volker Lange of the Dresden Police.

An epaulette is an ornamental shoulder piece on an item of clothing, usually found on a uniform or ceremonial dress.

Dresden Castle Green Vault Heist
According to Saxony’s Minister of the Interior Roland Wöller, the police have formed a special commission to investigate the theft.

A number of teams have been deployed to the scene and the museum was closed on Monday.

Police say they have no information to suggest that the suspects had “insider knowledge” of the vault, but that they are continuing to investigate.

Police say a vehicle seen parked nearby around the time of the robbery appeared to flee the scene shortly afterwards.

Lange said an alert was sent out to try to locate the vehicle, with police closing exits on the nearby motorway to try and stop the suspects escaping.

However the Dresden police official also pointed out that it would have been fairly easy for a vehicle to get from the site of the robbery to the highway within a matter of minutes.

Why did the security not stop the thieves?

Marion Ackermann, the director General of the Dresden State Art Collections, found herself under a barrage of questions from journalists at the news conference a short while ago.

Dresden Castle Green Vault Heist
A key question emerging: If the security guards saw the thieves on their CCTV camera and heard the alarm, why did they not intervene and stop them from escaping?

Ackermann explained that the standard security procedure at the museum is to call the police rather than intervene.

At that point, the security guards were unarmed, but could have been if they had interceded, she explained.

She added that the museum’s course of action was not unusual and that other museums follow similar protocols.

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