Update: police search Berlin café in relation to Green Vault heist in Dresden

Update: police search Berlin café in relation to Green Vault heist in Dresden
Police barricade outside the Royal Palace in Dresden after the Green Vault was robbed last year. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

It has been more than nine months since burglars broke into the Grünes Gewölbe, or the Green Vault, at Dresden’s Royal Palace, making it out with dozens of priceless items. Now, police seem to have made their first major public breakthrough in the case.

According to Monopol, officials searched a Berlin internet café as well as the flat belonging to one of the café’s employees in search of evidence related to the heist after months of investigation. It is believed that the employee in question sold a SIM card, recovered by police after the theft, to the thieves who ransacked the Green Vault. “We assume that the man [employee] was in contact with the perpetrators,” a spokesperson told Monopol. Although, it remains unclear at the moment as to if the employee was aware of the buyer’s plans to rob the vaults, but police believe the SIM cards were sold under false identities or given to the café to distribute. At the moment, police do not consider the employee a suspect in the crime.

Other than basic information regarding the Berlin search, police have released little else to the public in connection to the robbery. Regarding the café employee, authorities have not disclosed how they were able to link them to the sale of the SIM card, but police are hopeful that it will lead to more information on those responsible for the heist.

The heist occurred in the early hours of November 25th last year, when a group of thieves broke into the Green Vault. Their actions were caught on CCTV showing two people enter and smash protective glass cases before making their getaway with hundreds of items, including a number of jewellery pieces dating back to the 18th century considered to be priceless. Since the robbery, there has been no sign of the jewels and a major concern is that the works could be torn apart to make them less recognizable for resale.

In March, police launched an ongoing investigation into four security guards for the Royal Palace who did not “react adequately” to the robbery according to authorities. There are thought to be seven individuals who played a role in the heist, which also involved a stolen car that was later set on fire and left in a Dresden car park. Since the robbery, police have been contacted with 1,300 leads, although the Berlin café link is the “first clue” that has left authorities “confident.”