Diamonds and diamond jewelry worth millions of dollars were stolen by thieves early on Dec. 2 from a major exhibition in the Museon, a popular museum in The Hague, capital of the Netherlands, reports the CNN and German N-TV Internet news services.
The stolen items included uncut and faceted stones, necklaces, tiaras, rings, earrings, and some historical pieces, owned by European royal families, private collectors, and museums located across Europe. They had been on loan to the exhibition on diamond-cutting and jewelry-making, “Diamonds-From Raw Stones to Jewelry”-which had been mounted at the museum since October.
The thieves, whom police and museum officials believe were professionals, “knew exactly what they were looking for and where to find it,” Museon chief Bert Molsbergen, told N-TV. According to information released by the museum, the robbers apparently entered through a window at about 4 a.m. on Dec. 2 and smashed the exhibition’s display cases, “despite [their] especially strong glass,” noted the German news report.
The normally well-protected museum had installed additional security systems-such as surveillance cameras and motion sensors-specifically for the exhibition, and these were in operation around the clock. Because of that, museum officials and police are puzzled as to how the robbers were able to enter and escape unnoticed, said the news reports.