Düe Jewellery Discovered At Father’s Former Shop
Bild, Hanover edition 24th June 2000, p. 3 by Cornelia Missling and Axel Sturm
Who hid it behind the wood panelling?
- The spectacular robbery of exclusive jeweller René Düe – For 19 years investigators have sought missing jewellery.
Yesterday the sensational news trickled through: Part of it had been discovered in the Old Town – hidden in the former business premises of Friedrich Düe, father of René, near the Ballhof.
Last week, a lawyer from Hildesheim handed over 10.8 kilograms of jewellery from the 1981 Düe robbery to the police (Bild reported). How he had come by it, police were not saying. All that they would say was that it had surfaced during “renovation” work.
BILD found the house that is being renovated. It is an ivy-covered, half-timbered house near the Ballhof. Düe’s now deceased father Friedrich ran a goldsmith’s business here until the early 1980’s. It is in one of Hanover’s most exclusive districts. When he retired, the business was taken over by a longstanding, employee.
According to information received by Bild, this man, himself now approaching retirement, is in the process of transferring the business to one of his own employees – a goldsmith, who learned her trade from him.
She wanted to modernise and got major renovations underway. Workers began removing suspended ceilings and dividing walls. Suddenly, behind some wood panelling, they discovered eleven cartons!
The young goldsmith, who was very surprised, handed everything over to her predecessor. He, suspecting the significance of the packages, took them immediately to his lawyer, unopened. René Düe (54) knew of the renovations and apparently asked, “Why are you tearing everything out?”. Düe’s sister collected an oil painting that had belonged to the father and was still hanging in the shop.
Police and public prosecutors searched the building after the discovery of the jewellery – without success. The remaining 30 kilos of jewellery (cost value: 13.7 million marks) is still missing.
The discovered jewellery was apparently hidden in the father’s shop prior to 1984 – but who hid it?
Düe continues to proclaim his innocence. His lawyer Klaus Malottke said to BILD: The fact that the pieces were found on the premises does not necessarily incriminate my client. On the contrary. He has had 16 years to collect the jewellery. At the latest, he could have done something when he heard about the renovation work. That suggests that he knew nothing about the hiding place.