German police step up search for stolen 100-kilogram gold coin

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Berlin (dpa) – German police stepped up their search Tuesday for thieves who, in a daring robbery, made off with a 100-kilogram gold coin worth about 3.8 million euros (4.14 million dollars) from one of Berlin’s top museums.

Police believe the thieves erected a ladder on a rail line bordering the Bode Museum in the early hours of Monday morning before scaling a wall to break into the building. The Bode Museum is part of Berlin’s historic museum island and lies in the heart of the German capital.

The thieves broke into an armoured glass display cabinet containing the coin, which has a face value of 1 million Canadian dollars and was issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007.

However, the current gold price means that the market value of the coin, which is only one of five in the world, could be as high as 3.74 million euros, experts said.

Police have issued a call for witnesses, saying the thieves left the ladder behind before apparently making their escape along the rail tracks sometime between 2 am and 4 am (0000 and 0200 GMT Monday)

Investigators are still unclear how the thieves transported the massive coin, known as “Big Maple Leaf” after the country’s national symbol.

It is also one of the world’s largest gold coins. It has been part of the Bode Museum’s valuable coin collection since 2010.

The coin has a diameter of 53 centimetres and is 3 centimetres thick.

It features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the front and three maple leaves on the back.

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