Swedish Crown Jewels
Photo: Swedish Police Authority

Priceless crown jewels belonging to Sweden’s royal family have been snatched by thieves who escaped on a motorboat and are now on the run.

Two crowns and an orb were taken from a cathedral in Strangnas, west of Stockholm, at around lunchtime on Tuesday, the BBC reports.

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Swedish police have confirmed that the stolen crowns, which are decorated with gold, precious stones and pearls, were the funeral crowns of Karl IV and his wife Queen Kristina from 1611.

Witnesses told local media that they saw two men fleeing in a small, open motorboat which was moored just below the church.

Photo: Getty

“One of my friends saw two people run from different directions, a witness told Aftonbladet, a Swedish newspaper. “I saw a white little boat and the men jumped in the boat and got away.”

Police helicopters carried out a major search operation through the night, but the suspects are yet to be found.

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“It’s 1-0 to them right now,” police spokesperson Thomas Agnevik said. “It is not possible to put an economic value on this, it is invaluable items of national interest.”

A spokesperson for the cathedral said the treasures would have been stored in locked stands that the thieves would have had to break into, triggering an alarm. “It is an enormous loss in cultural value and economic value,” she said.

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This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.