Thieves broke into a German museum housing one of Europe's largest treasure collections, smashed display cases and made off with three "priceless" sets of jewelry in what has been described as the biggest art heist since World War II, according to reports.
Lange said they were also trying to determine whether an unregistered auto, found on fire nearby with all four doors open and smelling of gasoline, may have been the getaway vehicle.
Around €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in treasure was stolen in a raid on a German museum, daily Bild reported Monday.
Despite the power cut, a surveillance camera kept working and filmed two men breaking in.
PHOTO: A police officer walks behind a caution tape at the Schinkelwache building in Dresden Monday, Nov. 25, 2019.
Pleading with the thieves not to destroy the objects or melt them down, she said the jewellery was of "inestimable cultural and historical value" and could never be sold on the open market.
The Green Vault, a baroque treasure house in the former royal palace of the House of Wettin, is one of the oldest art museums in Europe.
The collection was founded in the 18th century by Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and later King of Poland, who commissioned ever more brilliant jewellery as part of his rivalry with France's King Louis XIV.
The museum is now made up of two sections - a historic part and a new part.
The treasures of the Inexperienced Vault survived Allied bombing raids in World Struggle Two, exclusively to be carted off as battle booty by the Soviet Union.
Exhibits are arranged into nine rooms, including an ivory room, a silver-gilt room and the central "Hall of Treasures".
Its most valuable item-a unique 41-carat naturally green diamond-is now on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY.
"The works in the Green Vault and the Palace were built up by the people of Saxony with many centuries of hard work", he said.
"We will do everything in our power not only to bring the cultural treasures back, but to capture the perpetrators", he said.
In 2010, the museum hosted a meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and then President of the United States Barack Obama, on the latter's first state visit to Germany.
Germany has had its share of heists in recent years.
"The items can not be sold on the art market legally - they're too well known", she said.