Robbery to order

"He followed precise instructions, went from one display case to the next and extracted the works of art that Ljubomir E had previously marked in the catalogue of the cathedral treasury, because they were particularly valuable," reported the senior prosecutor who retired in 1996. The cathedral robber tried not to make a noise. But shortly before the 30 minutes allowed for the raid had elapsed, a monstrance fell from his hand and rolled across the floor. Vilijam quickly disappeared into the ventilation shaft. Mösch: "At 0:25 am, the two cathedral guards heard a noise and called the sexton. They were unable to open the cathedral treasury as they didn’t have a key. The sexton arrived at 0:50 am. He opened up and immediately alerted the police.” In the police headquarters they received the following message: "Burglary in the treasury of the High Cathedral Church in Cologne. North side of the cathedral." By this time, Vilijam was back on the Domplatte (Cathedral square), and he quickly threw his haul into a bush. Then he met his accomplices in a flat on the Hohe Straße. They returned and picked up the booty. Ljubomir took it with him. "They agreed to meet the next day in order to divide it up," says Mösch. The three burglars had come into possession of jewels and liturgical items worth several million marks: Splendid monstrances, chains, bishops’ rings, a golden pax set with pearls, rubies, sapphires and diamonds. In order to clear up the cathedral robbery, a special commission was set up and Interpol brought on board. The decisive tip came from the underworld in 1976. Probably due to the reward money, which was set at 50,000 marks. In June 1976, Vilijam D. and Borislav T. were arrested in Switzerland. Some items of the cathedral treasure were located in the boot of their stolen car. They were charged and each sentenced to five years. Principal perpetrator Ljubomir E. fell into the clutches of the Milanese police, and was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison in March 1978.

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Source: https://www.express.de/ (Status: 18.01.2014), "The spectacular million-dollar robbery in Cologne Cathedral"
Author: Inge Wozelka

 

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