A wry view of life for the world-weary

Crime Of The Week

In an age dominated by cyber-crime it is gratifying to know there is still a place for good old fashioned criminal skills. Take the break in at Berlin’s Bode Museum last Monday night where thieves got away with a 21 inch, 221 pound coin worth some 4 million Euros, known as the Big Maple Leaf.

The police found a rope, a ladder, a wheelbarrow and a burning Mercedes in an underground car park and have been able to reconstruct the m.o of the two burglars.

In the three-hour or so window when S-Bahn trains were not running, the intrepid duo ran along some elevated train tracks, put a ladder up against an upper-level window and smashed the glass case in which the coin was housed. In a scene reminiscent of the bad old days of the Weimar Republic, they loaded the coin in a wheelbarrow, wheeling it back across the ladder and down the railway tracks, before making their escape using a rope to get down from the tracks and jumping into the waiting Merc.

Police found a deep gouge near the train tracks which suggests that the thieves dropped and, probably, damaged their haul. The coin many now resemble our new twelve-sided pound coin, the first of which I received in my change yesterday.

Clearly questions are being asked about the adequacy of security at the museum and there are suspicions that it may have been an inside job but whether they get away with it or not, it was a story that warmed the cockles of my heart.

I have it on good authority that the woman in the picture is not a suspect.


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