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Thieves gamed security systems in Rotterdam heist, in and out in less than two minutes
A security guard stands near the emergency exit doors used by thieves to carry seven stolen paintings out of Kunsthal museum, as the museum opened it's door to the public following early Tuesday morning's heist, in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012. Police investigating a multimillion euro (dollar) art heist say they are following up several tips from the public, a day after thieves grabbed seven paintings from the walls of a Rotterdam gallery and vanished into the night. A spokeswoman for detectives on the case, Willemieke Romijn, said Wednesday they have some 15 tips from the public, following a late-night, nationally televised appeal for witnesses to the theft from the Kunsthal gallery of works by celebrated artists including Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and Henri Matisse. AP Photo/Peter Dejong.
AMSTERDAM (AP).- Thieves who stole seven paintings from a Rotterdam museum took advantage of an automatic door-unlocking system, the museum has acknowledged.

The Kunsthal museum was responding to criticism after thieves broke in last week and grabbed works worth millions by Picasso, Matisse and Monet, among others.

The museum said in a statement Monday it uses an electronic locking system that is activated after an alarm is triggered, but deactivates again shortly afterward for safety reasons. The thieves waited until the electronic system deactivated, broke a physical lock on an emergency door, and were in and out in less than two minutes. Police arrived in five.

Spokesman Olivier Morot said he couldn't comment further. Police are still analyzing tips and clues in the Oct. 16 heist and have no suspects.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.





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