The unique Green Diamond in Dresden's Green Vault gave the jewel thieves the idea to break into the Residenzschloss. One person enthusiastically talked about it after a school trip, said two of the six suspects on Tuesday in the trial at the Dresden Regional Court.
In the course of a so-called deal, she and another defendant from the Berlin Remmo clan admitted their involvement in the spectacular coup and reported on the preparation and the course of events. A 29-year-old man confessed to having stolen the jewelry from the jewelry room on the first floor. The reconstructed historical part of the museum would have been chosen because of its easy accessibility.
The break-in into the famous Saxon Treasury Museum on the morning of November 25, 2019 was one of the most spectacular art thefts in Germany. Since the end of January 2022, the brothers and cousins between the ages of 23 and 29 from the well-known extended family of Arabic origin have had to answer for serious gang theft, arson and particularly serious arson.
Buildings and power supply were scouted
"I wasn't just in Dresden, I was in the rooms of the Green Vault myself," said the oldest defendant, correcting his statements from March 2022. His contribution to the crime was "significantly more important", and he was involved earlier and more deeply. When he was asked if he wanted to take part, the plan was made. It was developed over a year. "The idea wasn't mine."
His job was to climb into the museum through a previously prepared window "with a person who was not accused," to smash a display case in the jewel room and steal jewellery. "I'm the one with the flashlight, the other one told me where to go." To his knowledge, there was no help from insiders. Plans for the power supply of the buildings were found by chance, and security was tested on advance tours to Dresden. "I was amazed that you could move around so freely and unnoticed." So nothing happened when they jumped around in front of the facade.
A 23-year-old said he was the first to think of breaking into the Green Vault when an acquaintance sent him a photo of the Green Diamond and wrote underneath: "Look, how blatant!" After a trip to the museum, however, his idea was rejected, also because "the clunkers" were useless. When he later heard that "other accomplices" were planning exactly that, he was upset. But: "I really wanted to be there," said the 23-year-old. He didn't think about the consequences.
A theft like in the movies?
"It was a real adventure, a kind of test of courage and an opportunity to prove myself to the others." He went to Dresden several times, including during the night when part of the window grille was ripped out and fixed with adhesive tape. "It was very loud, the cutting, apparently it worked perfectly, it's hard to believe." He confessed to "Schmiere", as he did on the night of the crime. More was not possible, said the slim, fit defendant, "I weighed 120 kilos at the time". According to him, there were six of them - and he threw the bag with the loot into the car.
This theft was compared to the coup from the film "Oceans Eleven" and the Olsen Gang, said a 26-year-old who is currently serving his youth sentence for stealing the gold coin from the Bode Museum in Berlin in 2017. He put it on record that he was revalued in his circles, suddenly "was the master thief with whom everyone wanted to talk and celebrate", including drugs. And then the next coup beckoned: the Green Vault. "I had become megalomaniac," he confessed.
During a visit to the museum, he took a close look at the security technology. When scouting the scene of the crime, it turned out that a window was not detected by the facade scanner because of the balcony in front of it - and the plan was considered feasible. He needed money for drugs because his share from the gold coin theft had been used up. With cocaine in his blood, he then set the fire in the power distribution box in Dresden's old town to turn off the lights and alarm.
Two of the accused are reformed
After preliminary talks with the defense and the public prosecutor's office, most of the jewelry was returned by a lawyer for the 29-year-old shortly before Christmas. Four of the six defendants had agreed to the agreement reached with the court a week ago about milder sentences, the fifth rejected it. This requires credible and comprehensive confessions. "The chamber has signaled that there are quite detailed confessions," said a spokesman for the district court. The fourth is to follow on Friday, when she also wants to question the young men. One of the six accused denies involvement with reference to an alibi.
The two younger confessors appeared reformed after more than two years in prison with time to reflect. In the meantime, the importance of the jewelry has become clear to you. "I did everything to ensure that jewelry could be returned," said the 23-year-old. The 29-year-old also emphasized this. They would have given up the loot and given back what was left. "More is not in my power."