Dutch man jailed for trying to steal Roman gold from German museum
A Dutch man was sentenced to 2.5 to 3.5 years in prison by a German judge after an attempt to steal a Roman gold treasure from a museum in the city of Trier. The 28-year-old man was charged in May and confessed to having been an accomplice. The intended loot was 18.5 kilograms of gold, worth about 600,000 euros, ANP reports.
The man is said to have broken into the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in October 2019. Here he is said to have climbed through a window with a partner via scaffolding, and them smashed open a heavy door with a sledgehammer. A third suspect was on the lookout outside. The two were unable to smash the armed glass and get to the coins. The suspects fled when the alarm went off and the police arrived.
The defendant denied that he himself was in the museum. That would have been the other two. According to the judge, the prosecutors and the defendant's lawyer struck a deal based on his confession to complicity. He will therefore be sentenced to a relatively light sentence of between 2.5 and 3.5 years.
The German investigators traced the Dutch man through DNA on a sports bag that was left in the museum. The suspect was handed over to Germany at the end of 2020. The accomplices are still unknown.
The trio are said to have targeted more than 2,500 gold pieces from Roman times. The coins were unearthed in 1993 during construction work in Trier. The city was an important place in this part of the Roman empire. The gold treasure is currently not on display, while security in the museum is being improved.