Real Madrid CF became victims of a robbery early on Thursday morning, when the club's official merchandise store was broken into by still unidentified thieves.

Just hours after photos were released of members of the first team squad visiting the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to have a look at the ongoing renovations, news also came out about the robbery. A group of unwelcome visitors entered the same premises with a more insidious intent. According to Spanish publication Marca, the incident took place at around 6:00 AM CEST on Thursday.

The group gained access into the two-storey shop by ramming a vehicle into the steel barricade that guarded the glass doors. The main entrance of the store is located on the ground level on one side of the stadium, providing easy access from the street.

Authorities were alerted after someone called an emergency number to report the disturbance at the stadium. However, the perpetrators acted quickly and were gone by the time police arrived. The thieves were able to empty the shelves which were filled with clothing, football equipment and various other Real Madrid branded items.

The stolen goods were reportedly stuffed into at least three vehicles. It is said that in their haste, the thieves took everything they could get their hands on, including the mannequins used to display kits for sale.

Security camera footage is now being reviewed by the National Police, but the vehicles that were used are believed to be stolen. Hence, the identities of the perpetrators remain unknown at this time. It is also unclear how many people were involved in the robbery.

The stadium is currently undergoing an extensive renovation project, with the club taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to speed up the process. With audiences banned from watching matches, Real Madrid had been playing their home games at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium at Valdebebas. This has allowed work at the Bernabeu to go on uninterrupted for the past year.

Real Madrid
Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium is undergoing renovation work. AFP / Gabriel BOUYS