One-million-dollar Coin Stolen From Berlin Museum
By | March 30, 2017
Called the "Big Maple Leaf," the 100-kilogram (220 pounds) coin was stolen from the Bode Museum in Berlin at around 3:30 a.m., March 27, 2017.
The gold coin has a face value one million dollars, and an even higher market value estimated at four million dollars. Issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007, just like any other Canadian coin, it features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. It has a diameter of 53 centimeters (21 inches) and is three centimeters thick. The coin has also entered the Guinness Book of Records for its unsurpassed purity of 999.99/1000 gold.
When news broke that giant gold coin was stolen, staff at Berlin's Bode Museum spoke of circumvented security systems and other high-tech theft gadgets.
But police investigations revealed that the thieves relied on rather old-fashioned methods.
Police said suspects likely ran along some elevated train tracks and pushed a ladder up against a window on the upper-level. They are thought to have smashed the glass case and loaded the 100-kilogram coin into a wheelbarrow and wheeled it back across the ladder and back down the train tracks. They then crossed the Spree River on the tracks, climbed down a rope, loaded the giant coin into an awaiting car and escaped.
Given the heft of the coin, police deduced that at least two burglars were involved. They found the rope, the ladder and the wheelbarrow as well a burning Mercedes in an underground parking garage, which all led them to the theory of how the heist took place.
They also found a substantial impact mark under the train tracks which indicated the coin may have been dropped from the tracks and was likely damaged.
The "Big Maple Leaf" was loaned to the museum since 2010 by a wealthy German real estate developer. The museum was insured against the loss. Experts said the coin would be difficult to sell and would likely be melted down.
The Bode Museum has one of the world's largest coin collections with more than 540,000 items.