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Märklin Has Recovered Its History.
Break-In at the Märklin Museum Solved.

Göppingen, March 23, 2005.

Two months after the spectacular break-in at the Märklin Museum, police have solved the case and recovered the stolen items.

After unknown individuals forced their way into the Märklin Museum in Göppingen on the night of January 18 and stole historic display pieces valued at more than one million Euros, every effort was made to recover these unique models. Among them are models of prewar 1 Gauge as well as 0 Gauge models, ships from the period before 1910, stationary steam engines, and irreplaceable 00 Gauge (H0) prototypes.

The quick success in recovering these items is due to the smooth cooperation between the Göppingen Police Department and BKA/Interpol in Vienna. A critical clue from Göppingen, after a vehicle with Viennese identification was noticed there on the evening before the break-in, led to the arrest on Monday afternoon in Vienna of a central figure in the theft. He immediately implicated two other principals in the case, who were arrested on the same day in Treviso in northern Italy. According to the police, all of the stolen items were recovered. Part of the items were in Austria; the rest were in Italy. The alleged thieves were all from former Yugoslavia. According to the police, three of individuals arrested are considered the principals in the theft; three more were supposed to act as fences for the stolen items. Up to 100 policemen and investigative agents in Vienna alone were involved in the case. The thieves were taken completely by surprise and gave no resistance.

"We have recovered our history thanks to the exemplary cooperation between the Austrian and German police. The first locomotive in model railroad history, the "Stork's Leg" from 1891, the prototypes of the "Crocodiles" and the large 3 Gauge "ECE" locomotive are important milestones in Märklin's history, which we want to make accessible to our visitors in the future," said Paul Adams, CEO for Märklin.

Note for visitors to the Museum:
Naturally, we will put the recovered models on display for you in the Museum as quickly as possible, but at this time we cannot give an exact date for this.





Märklin Museum Break-In and Theft
Reward of 200,000 Euros Offered

Göppingen, January 18, 2005. The Märklin Museum was broken into in the early morning hours of Tuesday, January 17. The thieves disarmed the alarm system and forced open the emergency exit. Historic 1, 2, and 3 Gauge models were stolen as well as all of the 0 Gauge models on display at the time, and the ship from before 1910, stationary steam engines, windup automobile and truck models from the 1930s, and irreplaceable prototypes for 00 (H0) Gauge. The oldest model in the Museum's collection, the "Storchenbein" or "Stork's Leg", the first locomotive from 1891, was also stolen. The estimated value of these items is well over one million Euros.

Märklin is offering a reward of 200,000 Euros for the recovery of these models.

"A part of our history has been stolen from us. This is a painful loss for a company as mindful of its traditions as Märklin", said Paul Adams, CEO for Märklin.

At present the only complete representation of Märklin's history in the form of historic models can now be seen only at the Märklin exhibition "The Mystique of Märklin" in Vienna.

For a list of items that were stolen from the Märklin Museum, please follow this link to the Märklin GmBH website.



Press Release

Göppingen Police Department

Schillerstraße 17
73033 Göppingen, Germany
Telephone: 07161/63-2030, Fax: 07161/63-2039
e-mail: pressestelle@pdgp.bwl.de

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Märklin Museum broken into, models valued at over one million Euros stolen, large reward offered for recovery - Göppingen

Unknown burglars broke into the rooms of the Märklin Museum on Holzheimer Street in the early morning hours of Tuesday and stole valuable models. Initial conservative estimates place the value of the stolen goods at over one million Euros. The perpetrators made off with approximately 150 pieces of valuable model trains, stationary steam engines, ships, vehicles, and figures from the display cases, which had been broken into, took them outdoors and loaded them into a vehicle to transport them away. The alarm system was manipulated in advance in such a manner that it was disarmed. Two red rotating lights were covered with construction foam. The burglars entered the building after they had broken up an emergency exit. The iron door was forced open with brute force with the help of tools. In the display room the thieves levered the glass sides open from different display cases and removed the expensive pieces from these cases. Based on clues found at the site, the police theorize that the objects were loaded into a vehicle standing in an entrance area. Under the circumstances, a large station wagon or a small truck was used to haul the models away. Among the stolen items are collector pieces, which have inestimable sentimental value in addition to the material value. There were also individual pieces taken, which are irreplaceable. It is not out of the question that the perpetrators conducted a surveillance of the museum recently.

A monetary reward of up to 200,000 Euros is being offered by the injured party for information leading to the recovery of the group of stolen items - or parts of this group.

The Märklin firm has extensive additional information about the theft on its Internet site at www.maerklin.de and has placed a series of photographs of the stolen models there.

The criminal section of the Göppingen Police Department has taken over the investigation and is looking for eyewitness information. The investigators have these questions:
- Who saw any suspicious activity in the early morning hours of Tuesday along the Holzheimer Street or on the property of the Märklin firm?
- Who has seen suspicious vehicles or people in the area in the days or weeks leading up to the night of the theft?
- The perpetrators had to climb about two to three meters / 7 to 11 feet up the side of the building in order to fill the alarm system with foam. Did anyone possibly see them?
- Please look at the information and images for the stolen items on the Märklin firmÕs Internet site. Have any of the items pictured there from the theft turned up somewhere or have they been offered somewhere?

Please contact the Göppingen Police Department with any tips, phone: 07161/ 63-2050 (Germany).
(Uli Stöckle)



 

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