Berlin-German police on Tuesday arrested three suspects and raided properties over a spectacular heist a year ago in which more than a dozen diamond-encrusted items were snatched from a state museum in Dresden.

Investigators were searching 18 properties in Berlin, including 10 apartments as well as garages and vehicles, in connection to what local media had dubbed the biggest art heist in modern history.

“The measures today are focused on the search for the stolen art treasures and possible evidence, such as data storage media, clothing and tools,” police and prosecutors said in a statement.

The robbers had launched their brazen raid on Green Vault museum in Dresden’s Royal Palace on November 25, 2019.

Having initiated a partial power cut and broken in through a window, they had snatched priceless 18th-century jewellery from the collection of the Saxon ruler August the Strong.

Items stolen included a sword whose hilt is encrusted with nine large and 770 smaller diamonds, and a shoulderpiece which contains the famous 49-carat Dresden white diamond, Dresden’s Royal Palace had said.

The director of Dresden’s state art collection, Marion Ackermann, had refused to put a value on the stolen items, calling them “priceless”. 

Dramatic CCTV footage released at that time showed one of the robbers breaking into a display case with an axe. Police hunting for the suspects had launched several appeals, offering up to half a million euros in reward for information leading to their arrests.