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Have Sweden's stolen crown jewels been found at last?

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Have Sweden's stolen crown jewels been found at last?
The crown jewels were taken from Strängnäs Cathedral. Photo: Jonas Ekström/TT
10:15 CET+01:00
The royal jewels that were stolen from a Swedish cathedral in a brazen heist that grabbed global headlines last year may have been found – on top of a bin.

The search for both the culprits and the jewels gained international attention after the 17th-century royal crowns were taken from a cathedral in Strängnäs, one hour from Stockholm, with the suspects then seen fleeing the scene on women's bicycles and a motorboat.

A man, whose blood was found on the scene of the crime, is currently on trial. But the hearing was interrupted on Tuesday morning after the prosecutor confirmed in court that the missing jewels may have been found.

Police said that the items were found by a security guard on top of a rubbish bin in Stockholm suburb Åkersberga at 1am on Tuesday. 

They will now be examined to ascertain that they are stolen jewels. The prosecutor has until Friday to tell the court when the trial can resume.

"Everything suggests that Charles IX's stolen funeral regalia have been found in the Stockholm area, but police are working hard to get it 100 percent confirmed," said the Swedish police on their website.

The 22-year-old suspect has admitted to stealing both a bicycle and a boat that were used as the thieves' getaway vehicles, but denies any involvement in the theft.

He remains the only suspect who has been identified and charged, and he has so far refused to answer questions about other potential suspects.

The crowns were made for the burial of King Charles IX and his wife Christina and date back to the early 1600s. A royal orb was stolen along with them, and the gold jewels are decorated with silver and pearls.

July's royal heist was the second to take place in the area around Lake Mälaren in recent years.

In 2013, a crown and sceptre used in the funeral of Sweden's King Johan III were stolen from nearby Västerås. Those items were later located in two large rubbish bags at the side of a highway following a tip-off to police.

 

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