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Jewel Thief Nets $53 Million At Cannes

July 28, 2013


While movie producers, stars, players and thieves descended on the French Riviera for the Cannes Film Festival, an armed jewel thief ran off with $53 million in jewels (40m euros $53m; £34m) in a briefcase, officials say.

It is unknown if Linday Lohan and Winona Ryder, whose thieving reputations are well known, were in the neighborhood at the time.

The hold-up took place on Sunday morning at a jewellery exhibition at the Carlton Hotel resort in the French Riviera. The hotel is located on the Croisette promenade - one of the most prestigious locations in Cannes.

The theft is the largest in a series of high-profile robberies in Cannes, which is famous for its annual film festival.

The Carlton Hotel is where Alfred Hitchcock filmed To Catch A Thief - his 1955 film about a jewel thief operating in the French Riviera.

An exhibition of diamonds by the jeweller Leviev was being held in the lobby of the hotel. It is not yet known who the owner was. If the value of the jewels is confirmed, it would reportedly be the second-largest heist ever in France.

The country's biggest ever robbery took place in 2008, when three men stole almost every piece on display at a jewellery exhibition in Paris with an estimated value of 85m euros ($113m; £73m).

Thieves see Cannes as rich pickings." Cannes film festival, which attracts celebrities from around the world, was hit by two jewellery thefts in May this year. A necklace by Swiss jeweller De Grisogono reportedly worth 1.9m euros ($2.5m; £1.6m) vanished after a celebrity party at a five-star hotel in the resort town of Cap d'Antibes.

The theft occurred despite "large security measures", including 80 security guards, the jeweller said. Last week, thieves ripped a safe with jewels from the wall of a hotel room. The jeweller house regularly loans its jewels to celebrities, including Paris Hilton and Cameron Diaz. Celebrities choosing the Swiss firm's gems for their red carpet appearances at this year's festival include Julianne Moore, Lana Del Rey and Cindy Crawford.

Inside job maybe? Of course it was.


The theft happened a few hours after the festival was shown The Bling Ring, a new film by director Sofia Coppola. The film is about teenagers who find out when celebrities are attending red carpet events in order to break into their homes and steal their designer clothes, bags and shoes.

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