Stolen Pope’s pectoral cross: Suspect caught in Czech Republic – Bavaria

The pectoral cross of former Pope Benedict Keep gems. As both announced on Friday, the man turned himself in to the police in the Bohemian town of Žatec.

The Bavarian investigators had secured traces at the crime scene in Traunstein and compared them with international databases. According to their own statements, they were able to assign the traces to a 53-year-old Czech citizen. From 1990 onwards, he was repeatedly noticed for various property crimes, first in Germany and later in other European countries, and has therefore already been in prison in several countries.

The Traunstein public prosecutor’s office had applied for an international arrest warrant against the man. Because the pressure of the search finally became too high for him, the man, according to the LKA and the public prosecutor’s office, came to the police station in Žatec responsible for his place of residence on August 18th and allowed himself to be arrested by the officers there. He has since been extradited to Germany and is being held in custody in Traunstein.

It is most likely better secured there than the papal pectoral cross in the town church of St. Oswald on Traunstein town square was. According to previous information from the LKA, the elongated display case in the masonry in which the cross had hung since the completion of a church renovation in 2020 was only closed with a slightly thicker plexiglass pane and was not otherwise secured. This showcase was smashed on the evening of June 19th. It may not have been necessary to use too much force, just like breaking open the cash register with change for the church magazines.

There is no reliable information about the material value of the cross. It was one of several papal pectorals that Benedict gave to the parish in 2016. His spiritual value is correspondingly great for the Catholics of St. Oswald and for the entire city of Traunstein, which the man who was born in nearby Marktl am Inn and became Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the end of last year. the late Joseph Ratzinger always referred to as his hometown.

The art investigators at the State Criminal Police Office are now concentrating even more on finding the alleged perpetrator and their prey. The suspect himself has not yet told them where the pectoral is located. Senior public prosecutor Martin Freudling, who is leading the investigation, is now hoping that the prospect of “a significant reduction in the sentence” could change the 53-year-old’s mind. Otherwise, due to his many previous convictions, he could now be sentenced to several years in prison because of the stolen pectoral cross. In the event that anyone other than the suspect can provide information about the whereabouts of the pectoral cross, the LKA has offered a reward of 1,000 euros.

source site