Jewels and diamonds worth $53 million have been stolen from a hotel in Cannes, France. The heist was one of the biggest in Europe in recent years.
French police estimate that $53 million (40 million euros) worth of jewels has been taken in an armed theft at the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in Cannes. A temporary jewelry exhibit was being hosted by the hotel along the French Riviera.
The thief reportedly seized a suitcase containing the Leviev jewellery in broad daylight around noon on Sunday. Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev's jewels were on exhibit for the summer.
The hotel is one of the area's finest, nestled along the seaside Promenade de la Croisette on the French Riviera, and is where film stars stay during the Cannes Film Festival.
Jewelry heists elsewhere
Back in February, a similarly bold theft took place in Antwerp. Jewel thieves took $50 million worth in diamonds on February 18. When they approached the plan, they brandished machine guns and took off with the jewels. Many of the stolen items have since been recovered, and dozens of people have been detained by police in connection with the robbery.
In that crime, the robbers waited until the diamonds had been loaded on a plane bound for Zurich. They then drove through a hole they had cut in the Brussels Airport fence with two black cars, both with blue police lights flashing.
Sunday's theft in Cannes follows two jewelry heists in the ritzy coastal town in May, which took place during the Cannes Film Festival. One took place in a Novotel hotel room of a Chopard employee, where the thieves ripped a safe from the hotel room. Chopard loans fine jewelry to A-list celebrities to wear on the red carpet during the film festival.
Also in May, thieves got past 80 security guards in an exclusive hotel and managed to steal a De Grisogono necklace worth $2.6 million.
tm/dr (dpa, AP, AFP)