News / Europe

Looted Cannes Gems Worth $136 Million

A police car is seen parked outside the Carlton hotel in Cannes, France, July 28, 2013.
A police car is seen parked outside the Carlton hotel in Cannes, France, July 28, 2013.
Reuters
An armed robber stole gems worth $136 million (102 million euros) in a weekend jewelry heist in the French Riviera resort of Cannes, making it the country's biggest gem theft.
 
The prosecutor's office in the nearby city of Grasse issued the figure on Monday based on an inventory of pieces seized in broad daylight from a precious jewelry exhibition at the luxury Carlton Hotel.
 
It was well over twice initial estimates, which local media had put at around $53 million.
 
The thief burst into the Carlton, on the famed La Croisette seafront, close to midday on Sunday armed with an automatic pistol and with a cap and a scarf concealing his face.
 
He threatened security guards and sales staff and left moments later with a briefcase containing 72 pieces, including jewels, rings, pendants and diamond-encrusted earrings, from a collection belonging to diamond specialist Leviev.
 
Just 34 of the stolen items were worth a total of $135 million, according to the prosecutor's office, which initially valued the loot at “several million euros”.
 
“The man entered by a glass door onto the Croisette which normally should have been bolted,” a spokesperson at the prosecutor's office said.
 
Initial investigations suggested the man may have dropped several jewels as he hurried away on foot via a different door.
 
The hotel, celebrating its centenary this year, was where Alfred Hitchcock filmed scenes from the 1955 film “To Catch a Thief”, starring Cary Grant as a one-time cat burglar and Grace Kelly as the beautiful Frances.
 
The heist came two months after two smaller jewelry robberies hit the annual Cannes film festival, where movie stars are lent gowns and gems to parade on the red carpets.
 
It was the biggest theft of jewels on record in France.
 
A group of men disguised as women shoppers pulled out guns and made off with around $105 million worth of jewels from the Harry Winston jewelry store on the Avenue Montaigne in Paris in 2008.

($1 = 0.7539 euros)

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid