Five men have been sentenced to several years in prison for their role in a $123 million heist that captured the world’s attention for its brazenness, public broadcaster MDR reported Tuesday.
Four of the defendants received lighter sentences because they had partially confessed and some treasures were returned, Andreas Feron, a spokesperson at Dresden’s Regional Court, told CNN.
A sixth defendant was acquitted.
The gang broke into the historic Green Vault in Dresden on November 25, 2019. CCTV camera footage showed two masked thieves smashing the glass and grabbing 21 diamond-studded artifacts.
The vault featured an astounding collection of historical jewelry and precious ornaments – from shimmering bowls carved out of crystal and agate to jeweled figurines and goblets fashioned from gilded ostrich eggs.
One of the most famous pieces of the collection, a 41-carat green diamond known as the Dresden Green, was not in the museum at the time, being on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Footage released by Saxony Police showed two people wearing dark clothes, moving quickly though the gallery using flashlights. One of them then uses an ax to break the glass – the video shows it takes the perpetrator at least nine hits before the glass breaks. A nearby electrical fire knocked out street lights in the area at around the time of the robbery.
Inside the $128 million heist that shocked the world — and the police chase that followed
In just a few minutes, some of the world’s most valuable historic jewels had vanished. Only some of the loot has since been recovered.