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Thieves steal Swedish royal crowns, escape by motorboat

By
Susan McFarland
Two burial crowns and an orb belonging to 17th Century King of Sweden Karl IX (Charles IX) and his wife, Queen Christina, were stolen Tuesday from the Strangnas Cathedral. Swedish Police have launched a manhunt to track down a pair of thieves in the heist. Photo courtesy of Swedish Police/EPA-EFE
Two burial crowns and an orb belonging to 17th Century King of Sweden Karl IX (Charles IX) and his wife, Queen Christina, were stolen Tuesday from the Strangnas Cathedral. Swedish Police have launched a manhunt to track down a pair of thieves in the heist. Photo courtesy of Swedish Police/EPA-EFE

Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Two crowns and an orb dating back to the 17th century were stolen from Strängnäs Cathedral on Tuesday in a heist that ended with the thieves escaping in a motorboat.

The jewels, used by the 17th-century King Karl IX and Queen Christina, are made of gold and enamel and encrusted with beads, crystals and pearls.

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They were stolen from an alarmed, locked display cabinet in the cathedral, located in Strängnäs, Sweden, about 60 miles west of Stockholm.

A witness told police he saw two men run from the building, jump into a small white motorboat at the foot of the hill on Lake Mälaren and speed away.

Stefan Dangardt, a Swedish police spokesman, said there is an international hunt for the thieves and the jewels, which he said would likely be difficult to sell.

In 2013 at Vasteras Cathedral, a sceptre, crown and gilded wooden apple were stolen from the grave of Erik XIV, a 16th-century Swedish king who was the half-brother of King Johan III

The stolen regalia was later found in two garbage bags on the side of a highway.

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