Thieves steal 221-pound coin worth $4.5 million in heist at Bode Museum in Germany

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Visitors take a look at the world's biggest and most expensive gold coin, the "Canadian Maple Leaf", on Wednesday, May 28, 2008, at Vienna's art history museum. (AP Photo/Lilli Strauss) (KTRK)

Berlin police said thieves broke into the German capital's Bode Museum and made off with a massive 221-pound gold coin worth millions.

Museum spokesman Stefen Petersen said thieves apparently entered through a window around 3:30 a.m. Monday, broke into a cabinet where the "Big Maple Leaf" coin was kept, and escaped with it before police arrived.

A ladder was found by nearby railway tracks.

The 1.18-inch thick coin, with a diameter of 20.9 inches, has a face value of $1 million. By weight alone, however, it would be worth almost $4.5 million at current market prices.

The museum says the coin is in the Guinness Book of Records for its purity of 999.99/1000 gold. It has a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on one side and maple leaves on the other.

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