Manching (dpa) – After the spectacular gold theft from the Celts and Romans Museum in Manching, the investigators – also internationally – continue to look for the perpetrators. According to the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office (LKA) on Thursday, there was still no significant evidence from witnesses. In addition, there are no new investigative approaches. According to an LKA spokesman, the crime scene in Manching is no longer closed, so the museum is expected to be able to reopen next Wednesday (November 30th).
According to the previous investigations, the unknown perpetrators only needed nine minutes to break into the museum on Tuesday night and steal valuable gold coins there. Museum staff only noticed the crime the next morning.
Nevertheless, the Ingolstadt public prosecutor’s office is confident of being able to find the perpetrators. “All perpetrators boil with water and we already have our ways and means to counteract that,” said Chief Prosecutor Nicolas Kaczynski. “I’m optimistic.” The further procedure should be coordinated with the LKA. However, the chief investigator did not want to say what specific measures are planned.
483 coins and a gold cast cake were stolen in the burglary. The Celtic gold coins, which are more than two thousand years old, were discovered in 1999 during an archaeological dig in Manching. The pure material value of the 3.7-kilo treasure is estimated at around a quarter of a million euros, but the commercial value of the historical coins is in the millions.
It is feared that the perpetrators could melt down the gold because the coins are not considered to be for sale due to their popularity. “That would be a catastrophe,” said archaeologist Matthias Leicht, who led the Manching excavation 23 years ago, to the “Münchner Merkur”. The cultural value of the collection is immeasurable. “After all, it is the largest Celtic gold treasure find of the 20th century.”
At the time of the museum break-in, the telephone network in the Ingolstadt suburb was sabotaged. As a result, the telephone, internet and alarm system at the Manching Museum were paralysed. The investigators assume that the burglars destroyed the telecom lines in order to then get into the museum undisturbed.
“That’s a relatively obvious suspicion – without wanting to lean too far out of the window – that you have to investigate,” said Kaczynski. “Whether the connection actually exists or it is just a coincidence, that will ultimately have to be determined by further investigations.”
The investigators are also looking for the perpetrators internationally. Art databases have been notified of the theft in case the coins turn up there. And according to the LKA, Europol and Interpol were also involved in addition to the Federal Criminal Police Office.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:221124-99-645763/4