The collection of royal jewels, including the stolen items
Swedish police handout
The collection of royal jewels, including the stolen items
Now playing
01:13
Thieves steal Swedish royal crown jewels
A picture shows a police car parked outside the Ritz luxury hotel in Paris on January 10, 2018, after an armed robbery.
Armed robbers made off with millions of euros worth of jewellery after smashing the windows of the world-famous Ritz hotel in Paris on January 10, police said, adding that three suspects had been detained. / AFP PHOTO / Thomas SAMSON        (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)
THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
A picture shows a police car parked outside the Ritz luxury hotel in Paris on January 10, 2018, after an armed robbery. Armed robbers made off with millions of euros worth of jewellery after smashing the windows of the world-famous Ritz hotel in Paris on January 10, police said, adding that three suspects had been detained. / AFP PHOTO / Thomas SAMSON (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:54
Jewels worth millions recovered after attempted heist
nr hong kong diamond heist_00003524.jpg
HK-iCable
nr hong kong diamond heist_00003524.jpg
Now playing
01:01
Girl sought in $4.6M Hong Kong diamond heist
dnt new york jewelry heist_00001415.jpg
dnt new york jewelry heist_00001415.jpg
Now playing
01:30
Thief ties up manager, nabs $54K in jewels
The FBI, in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies, is seeking to the identity of a two suspects who are believed to have been involved in multiple jewelry store robberies in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
FBI
The FBI, in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies, is seeking to the identity of a two suspects who are believed to have been involved in multiple jewelry store robberies in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
Now playing
01:15
Georgia woman arrested in string of jewelry store heists
houston jewlery heist caught on camera pkg_00004517.jpg
KTRK
houston jewlery heist caught on camera pkg_00004517.jpg
Now playing
01:24
Million-dollar jewel heist caught on camera
Diamond encrusted golden eagle valued in the millions, stolen on Vancouver street

Source: The World's Greatest Treasure Hunt
The World's Greatest Treasure Hu
Diamond encrusted golden eagle valued in the millions, stolen on Vancouver street Source: The World's Greatest Treasure Hunt
Now playing
01:55
$5 million diamond-encrusted eagle statue stolen
armored truck heist money fbi california pkg_00000000.jpg
KCAL/KCBS
armored truck heist money fbi california pkg_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:37
FBI finds $600,000 in backyard linked to 2014 heist
pkg kapur india tunnel bank robbery _00001028.jpg
CNN-IBN
pkg kapur india tunnel bank robbery _00001028.jpg
Now playing
01:01
Robbers dig 100-foot tunnel, loot bank
Burnt out vans are seen near the Avallon motorway exit, central France, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. A police official says 15 armed assailants attacked two vans on a French highway carrying millions of euros worth of jewels, and sped away. The official says the two vans were found burned in a forest near the site of the attack, which happened on the A6 highway connecting Paris and Lyon. The jewels were not found. (AP Photo)
AP
Burnt out vans are seen near the Avallon motorway exit, central France, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. A police official says 15 armed assailants attacked two vans on a French highway carrying millions of euros worth of jewels, and sped away. The official says the two vans were found burned in a forest near the site of the attack, which happened on the A6 highway connecting Paris and Lyon. The jewels were not found. (AP Photo)
Now playing
01:40
Robbers nab $9M in French jewelry heist
dnt Surveillance camera catches jewelry store heist _00003222.jpg
dnt Surveillance camera catches jewelry store heist _00003222.jpg
Now playing
01:30
Scary jewelry store heist caught on cam
exp ac natpkg boston isabella stewart gardner museum art heist_00002001.jpg
exp ac natpkg boston isabella stewart gardner museum art heist_00002001.jpg
Now playing
01:08
$500 million art theft remains unsolved 25 years later
art heist theft new video kaye dnt ac_00000622.jpg
FBI
art heist theft new video kaye dnt ac_00000622.jpg
Now playing
03:05
New video released in $500M art heist
ac dnt kaye isabella gardner museum heist _00024801.jpg
ac dnt kaye isabella gardner museum heist _00024801.jpg
Now playing
05:46
FBI: Art heist masterpieces sighted
uk hatton garden heist arrests foster earlystart _00011127.jpg
AFP/Getty Images/U.K. Metropolitan Police
uk hatton garden heist arrests foster earlystart _00011127.jpg
Now playing
02:41
Inside the mechanics of a diamond heist
cnn$ top five jewelry heists_00021813.jpg
cnn$ top five jewelry heists_00021813.jpg
Now playing
02:19
The 5 biggest jewelry heists in history
CNN —  

Thieves stole priceless royal artifacts in a daring raid on a Swedish cathedral before escaping by speedboat, police said.

The thieves made off with jewels belonging to former Swedish monarchs Karl IX and Kristina from the Strängnäs Cathedral to the west of the capital, Stockholm, on Tuesday.

Two crowns and a golden orb adorned with a crucifix were taken from the cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century, according to a police report. The items date from the early 17th century.

A witness told Swedish media that he was eating lunch when he saw two people running toward a boat, which they sped away in.

Police said several thieves were involved in the heist. They fled in an open-topped motorboat across the sea from the base of the church. Several police patrol boats as well as police helicopters joined a hunt for the perpetrators.

The cathedral was placed on lockdown, CNN affiliate Expressen reported, and the search for the thieves continued on Wednesday.

“To a limited extent we are still looking for (them) both on the ground and at sea. We have no new findings so far,” said Tor Sevelius, commanding officer at the police’s management center.

Police are investigating “any boat that may seem interesting,” as the thieves may have switched to another craft, police spokesman Thomas Agnevik told Expressen.

The three items stolen were part of the funeral regalia of the king and queen, and would have been buried with the monarchs, Christofer Lundgren, dean of the Strängnäs parish, told Expressen. They were later taken from the burial site and displayed to the public, he added.

He said that while the items have monetary value, it pales in comparison to their significance to Sweden’s cultural history.

“From our point of view, the material value is less important than the cultural history of these items. I do not see this as a theft from Strängnäs cathedral assembly. This is part of the national cultural heritage, this is a theft of Swedish society,” Lundgren said.

Police said they could not comment on the value of the items stolen.

The cathedral was open to the public from 10 a.m., and the theft took place just before lunchtime. No one was injured or threatened during the robbery, Lundgren said.

The heist has echoes of a daring robbery in Venice in January, when thieves mingled with other visitors to an exhibition before brazenly making off with gems from the Qatari royal collection.

In that robbery, at least two people entered the Doge’s Palace – a popular tourist spot in Venice where a selection of Indian jewelry from the Qatari collection was on display to the public. One suspect acted as lookout while the other grabbed the jewels from a display case.