Oh my God: A pair of incredibly bold thieves have made off with precious jewels owned by Qatari royals, casually snatching them from a museum exhibit at a historic Venetian palace “before blending into crowds and making their escape.” Oh my God!
That’s via the Guardian: “Italian police are trying to piece together how two audacious thieves stole millions of pounds of jewellery from a reinforced case at the Doge’s Palace in Venice” and then just walked off, all casual-like.
Specifically, according to an earlier Guardian report, they got earrings and a broach from the Treasures of the Mughals and Maharajahs, a traveling exhibition that showcases highlights from the Al-Thani Collection, which belongs to the Qatari royal family and covers 500 years of Indian craftsmanship. It was the very last day of the exhibit—the last day in Venice, which was the last stop on its itinerary. “This particular collection of jewels was delicious for the thieves,” a source told the Guardian. “They waited for the very last day, which was the perfect time to act.” Yeah, if your plan is to unload the jewels ASAP and make your real money selling the screenplay.
Let’s set the scene:
Marco Odorisio, the police chief, said he suspected the thieves had previously scoped out the vast premises of the palace, which was once the residence of the former republic of Venice’s doges (rulers) and now attracts up to 4,000 visitors a day, before seizing their moment.
The declared value of the stolen items on customs forms was about €30,000 (£27,000), but police sources told Italian media they were probably worth millions.
“It was probably not an impromptu gesture,” Odorisio said. “The cases were supposed to be inaccessible and for this reason we need to understand the weaknesses [in the security system] in order to establish how they were able to commit the theft.”
Chief police commissioner Vito Gagliardi said the case, provided by the owners, had been opened “as if it was a tin can.” He added: “We are clearly dealing here with two skilled professionals who managed to pull off their feat despite all the display rooms being fitted with a … highly sophisticated [alarm] system.”
In a statement, Venice’s Foundation of Civic Museums said they were “contemporary pieces and consequently are of less historical value than other items in the collection.” Oh, well, in that case.
Just in case anybody wants to plan ahead for when Ocean’s 8 inevitably makes a trillion dollars!