Armed bandits made off with a priceless ancient Greek and Roman coin collection after locking two museum guards in a broom closet, officials said Saturday.
Armed with a pistol and a screwdriver, the thieves demanded Friday night to be taken to the gallery where a celebrated 15th century painting by Antonello da Messina was displayed.When they discovered the sophisticated alarm system protecting the masterpiece, they chose instead to steal the 250 silver and gold coins.
Investigators, who searched for clues in the case Saturday, guessed the criminals were working for someone else.
The coins date from the 5th century B.C. and were minted in the ancient Sicilian cities of Cefalu, Agrigento, Taormina and Siracuse.