Thieves steal $670,000 of watches, jewelry from Swiss 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, on Nov. 24, in what Swiss press reports call an “extremely well-prepared” 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, had 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 managed to escape. Swiss border authorities were informed and an intensive search was launched, but a presstime on Monday, the thieves hadn’t been arrested.

This is the second major break-in of 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