German special commandos have arrested several people in connection with the theft of a large gold coin that was stolen from the Bade museum in Berlin back in March in a brazen theft that shocked the public.
While Reuters didn’t say whether police recovered the coin – there was some speculation that the thieves would’ve melted it down for the gold – photographs did show police leading away a suspect, whose face was covered to hide his identity. The arrests were made 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 brazen theft involved entering through a museum window, possibly with the use of a ladder then making off with the 100 kilogram (equal to about 220 pounds) gold coin, according to Reuters.
The museum says the coin, known as “Big Maple Leaf,” is in the Guinness Book of Records for its purity of 999.99/1000 gold. It has a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on one side and maple leaves on the other, and was minted by the Royal Canadian Mint.
The Canadian coin has a face value of about $1 million, but if it were melted down, the materials would be worth $4.5 million.
The coin, 53 centimeters in diameter and 3 centimeters 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.
During the theft, Spokesman Stefen Petersen said thieves apparently entered through a window about 3:30 a.m. Monday, broke into a cabinet where the "Big Maple Leaf" coin was kept, and escaped with it before police arrived.’
The Bode has one of the world's largest coin collections with more than 540,000 items.