Estimate of French diamond heist raised to $136M

12994936

[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16×9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1375138693&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&show_title=1&va_id=4176667&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1375138693 type=script]

PARIS (AP) – Wearing a scarf to mask his face, the gunman held up at least three security guards and then fled the luxury Cannes hotel roughly a minute later with $136 million in diamond jewelry, more than twice the initial estimated worth of the loot.

The simple, speedy theft is the biggest jewelry heist in years. Police had previously said Sunday’s theft at the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel had netted €40 million ($53 million) worth of treasure – even at that level a major haul. Reached by The Associated Press, Philippe Vique, an assistant prosecutor in the Riviera town of Grasse, said the Dubai-based organizer of the diamond show had since raised the value based on a more complete inventory.

Vieques described a canny, but quick and logistically simple, break-in. The suspect somehow got in through the hotel’s locked French doors, which open onto Cannes’ famed Croisette promenade, then held up the participants of the show with a handgun and fled on foot. The hold-up itself took about a minute, all with three private security guards, two vendors and a manager of the sale-exhibit on hand, he said.

No customers were present at the time.

“He took a bag containing a briefcase and a small box, and then fled by another French door on the inside,” Vique said. “He left on foot … it was very fast.”

The bag contained rings, earrings and pendants, Vique said. As the suspect began his getaway, a few jewels spilled out of the bag of loot and were quickly recovered.

“I wouldn’t say it was easily done – opening a locked door…” Vique said. “He found a way to open it. Why was he able to open this door?”

The jewelry was part of a display centering on the prestigious Leviev diamond house, which is owned by Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev. It was to run until the end of August.

A Leviev spokesman declined to comment. A day earlier, the company issued a statement saying its officials were cooperating with authorities and were relieved that no one was injured in the robbery.

The hotel, in a statement, confirmed the robbery and said none of its employees or guests “were involved in or affected by the incident.” The Carlton said it was cooperating with police and would not comment further on the criminal investigation.

Jonathan Sazonoff, U.S. editor for the Museum Security Network website and an authority on high-value crime, told the AP on Sunday that police were likely to probe whether the heist was linked to recent jail escapes by alleged members of the Pink Panther jewel thief gang.

Vique said authorities were pursuing all possible leads and reviewing surveillance video footage, notably from cameras put in place by Cannes municipal authorities. But he said there was no indication so far that the suspect had links to any organized crime group.

The luxury hotel featured prominently in Alfred Hitchcock’s “To Catch a Thief,” starring Cary Grant as a reformed burglar chasing a jewel thief. Beyond the fiction, the Carlton has already been hit by a jewelry theft: In 1994, machine-gun-toting thieves stole $45 million in gems from the hotel – an ornate, opulent fixture of the city’s most-renowned boulevard. Stars throng the hotel each year for the Cannes Film Festival, and tourists rich and middle-class alike are common.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • http://abroadpropertyfinder.co.uk/?p=1989 Abroad property finder » News about houses for sale in france issue #1

    […] Estimate of French diamond heist raised to $136M – CBS42 – cbs42.com 07/29/2013 Estimate of French diamond heist raised to $136MCBS42… Europe's biggest jewelry heists recent years, police said. French Riviera hotel was hosting a temporary jewelry exhibit over the summer of more… Estimate of French diamond heist raised to $136M – Rome News Tribune – romenews-tribune.com 07/29/2013 Estimate of French diamond heist raised to $136MRome News TribuneFrench Riviera hotel was hosting a temporary jewelry exhibit over the summer of the prestigious Leviev diamond house, which is owned by more… $136M in jewelry stolen from hotel in Cannes – The Province – theprovince.com 07/29/2013 $136M in jewelry stolen from hotel in CannesThe ProvinceFrench Riviera hotel was hosting a temporary jewelry exhibit over the summer of the prestigious Leviev diamond house, which is owned by Israeli more… Left in Bankruptcy's Wake: Some Who Loaned Andrew Button Money Now … – Valley News – vnews.com 07/29/2013 Left in Bankruptcy's Wake: Some Who Loaned Andrew Button Money Now …Valley NewsBoth had graduated from Hanover High School. She in 1977; he in 1988. Gilbert sold Button a $600,000 house in Hanov more… Buffalo Trace Distillery is Declared a National Historic Landmark – Wine Enthusiast Magazine – winemag.com 07/29/2013 Buffalo Trace Distillery is Declared a National Historic LandmarkWine Enthusiast MagazineIt joins the ranks of landmarks like the White House, the Empire State Building and the Alamo. There has been a more… 7 Homes In The DMV Costing $20 Million And More (PHOTOS) – Huffington Post – huffingtonpost.com 07/29/2013 7 Homes In The DMV Costing $20 Million And More (PHOTOS)Huffington PostThe former home of D.C.'s Textile Museum is for sale. What's on the market is 10 bedrooms, 14 baths, two buildings and wh more… Estimate of French diamond heist raised to $136 million – Times Daily – timesdaily.com 07/29/2013 Telegraph.co.ukEstimate of French diamond heist raised to $136 millionTimes DailyFrench Riviera hotel was hosting a temporary jewelry exhibit over the summer of the prestigious Leviev diamond house, w more… Estimate of French diamond heist raised to $136M – Statesman Journal – statesmanjournal.com 07/29/2013 Estimate of French diamond heist raised to $136MStatesman Journal… recent years, police said. French Riviera hotel was hosting a temporary jewelry exhibit over the summer of the prestigious Leviev d more… Worth Watching Stocks – HENNES & MAURITZ AB (OTCMKTS:HNNMY), Daiwa … – SBWire (press release) – sbwire.com 07/29/2013 Worth Watching Stocks – HENNES & MAURITZ AB (OTCMKTS:HNNMY), Daiwa …SBWire (press release)The company is involved in the operation of contracting business for the construction of made-to-order h more… Baby born in London last week – Socialist Worker Online – socialistworker.org 07/29/2013 Socialist Worker OnlineBaby born in London last weekSocialist Worker OnlineBy now, the merchandise was on sale, as thankful subjects bought royal baby mugs and tea towels, and even in deprived housing more… RSSdoodle by The Lessnau Lounge. Results provided by Google News. […]

    Like

blog comments powered by Disqus