Watches, Jewelry Taken From Museum

More than 100 timepieces and jewelry valued at over $670,000 were stolen from the Musée de l’Horlogerie et de l’Émaillerie (Museum of Watchmaking and Enameling) in Geneva, Switzerland, in November in what Swiss press reports call an “extremely well prepared” early morning robbery.

According to Geneva police, the gang of four or five people mounted a steel pole on the back of a delivery van and drove backwards “with full force” into the museum’s doors, ramming them open. Within moments, the thieves, using pliers, forced open security glass display cases, “which should have protected the watches and jewelry,” said a Swiss press report. The thieves sped off in a stolen vehicle as the police, notified of the break-in by an alarm, arrived at the museum.

Despite what press reports called “a wild pursuit” and police reinforcements, the thieves escaped. Swiss border authorities were informed, and an intensive search was launched, but at press time the thieves hadn’t been apprehended.

This is the second major break-in at the museum in less than two years. On Aug. 31, 2001, timepieces and jewelry valued at some $1.3 million were stolen from it, according to Swiss press and police reports.