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German police arrest 2 suspects in gold coin heist

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/12/2017
FILE - The Dec. 8, 2010 photo shows the 'Big Maple Leaf' coin in the Bode Museum in Berlin. Special police units in Germany have raided several homes in Berlin on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 in connection with a 100-kilogram (221-pound) gold coin stolen from the museum. (Marcel Mettelsiefen/dpa via AP) © The Associated Press FILE - The Dec. 8, 2010 photo shows the 'Big Maple Leaf' coin in the Bode Museum in Berlin. Special police units in Germany have raided several homes in Berlin on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 in connection with a 100-kilogram (221-pound) gold coin stolen from the museum. (Marcel Mettelsiefen/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — German special police units raided several homes in Berlin early Wednesday in connection with the brazen heist of a 100-kilogram (221-pound) gold coin stolen from one of the city's most famous museums earlier this year.

A man is lead away by police officers in Berlin Wednesday, July 12, 2017, after special police units have raided several homes in connection with a 100-kilogram (221-pound) gold coin stolen from a city museum. The "Big Maple Leaf" coin, worth several million euros (dollars), was stolen in a spectacular heist from Berlin's Bode museum in March. (Paul Zinken/dpa via AP) © The Associated Press A man is lead away by police officers in Berlin Wednesday, July 12, 2017, after special police units have raided several homes in connection with a 100-kilogram (221-pound) gold coin stolen from a city museum. The "Big Maple Leaf" coin, worth several million euros (dollars), was stolen in a spectacular heist from Berlin's Bode museum in March. (Paul Zinken/dpa via AP)

Police arrested at least two suspects during early morning raids in the city's Neukoelln neighborhood.

Masked police stand outside a house in Berlin Wednesday, July 12, 2017, after special police units have raided several homes in connection with a 100-kilogram (221-pound) gold coin stolen from a city museum. The "Big Maple Leaf" coin, worth several million euros (dollars), was stolen in a spectacular heist from Berlin's Bode museum in March. (Paul Zinken/dpa via AP) © The Associated Press Masked police stand outside a house in Berlin Wednesday, July 12, 2017, after special police units have raided several homes in connection with a 100-kilogram (221-pound) gold coin stolen from a city museum. The "Big Maple Leaf" coin, worth several million euros (dollars), was stolen in a spectacular heist from Berlin's Bode museum in March. (Paul Zinken/dpa via AP)

"We assume that the two suspects match the ones seen on the video footage from surveillance cameras" during the burglary, police spokesman Winfrid Wenzel told The Associated Press.

He said searches of the apartments were still continuing, but so far the coin hadn't been found.

The Canadian "Big Maple Leaf" coin, worth several million euros (dollars), was stolen from the Bode museum in March.

At least two burglars broke into the museum at night, using a ladder to climb to a window from elevated railway tracks. They grabbed the coin, loaded it onto a wheelbarrow and then carted it out of the building and along the tracks across the Spree river before descending into a park on a rope and fleeing in a getaway car.

Police say the three-centimeter (1.2-inch) thick coin, with a diameter of 53 centimeters (20.9 inches) has a face value of 1 million Canadian dollars ($750,000). By weight alone, however, it would be worth almost $4.5 million at market prices. The coin was likely damaged in the theft.

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