Europe

Swede jailed for stealing crown jewels in broad daylight

Image copyright Alamy
Image caption The stolen jewels belonged to the Swedish monarchs who lived in the early 1600s

A Swedish man has been jailed for stealing seventeenth-century crown jewels from a cathedral in broad daylight.

Last July, two thieves took two gold crowns and an orb from a Strängnäs Cathedral last July and fled the scene by bicycle and motorboat.

Nicklas Backstrom, 22, later confessed after his DNA were found on the 65 million kronor ($6.9m; £5.3m) regalia.

Two other people have been arrested as part of an investigation by police.

The royal jewels are adorned with gold, precious stones and pearls, and come from the 1611 funeral regalia of Sweden's Charles IX and Kristina the Elder.

On 31 July 2018, they were taken from a locked display in a daytime robbery that was the subject of much international attention.

A police spokesperson at the time described them as "invaluable items of national interest".

Backstrom was also found guilty of attempted robbery for three other royal objects left behind in the cathedral worth 26.5 million kronor.

He has denied the charges, but admitted to supplying the bike and boat used as getaway vehicles by the thieves.

The royal heist was the second to take place in the region around Lake Mälaren in recent years.

In 2013, a crown and sceptre used for the burial of King Johan III was stolen from Vasteras Cathedral. It was later recovered in two rubbish bags on a countryside road following an anonymous tip-off to police.

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