PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, July 29, 2013

Jewelry Heist In Cannes Is Third In 3 Months

A view of the Carlton hotel, in Cannes, southern France, the scene of a daylight raid, Sunday, July 28, 2013. (Lionel Cironneau/AP)

A view of the Carlton hotel, in Cannes, southern France, the scene of a daylight raid, Sunday, July 28, 2013. (Lionel Cironneau/AP)

A lone man wearing gloves, a cap, and a scarf to mask his face sneaked into a diamond show in a luxury Cannes hotel and made off with some $136 million of loot, a French state prosecutor said Monday – more than twice the initial estimated take from the weekend hold-up.

Police had previously said Sunday’s theft at the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel had netted (euro) 40 million ($53 million) worth of treasure – even at that level, one of biggest jewelry heists in recent years. 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.

Describing a canny – if quick and logistically simple – break-in, Vique said the suspect broke in through French doors at the hotel that open out onto Cannes’ famed Croisette, held up the participants of the show with a handgun, then fled on foot. The hold-up itself took place in the space of about a minute, and 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, adding there was not getaway vehicle. “He left on foot … it was very fast.”

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.

Guest

  • Hugh Schofield, reporter for the BBC in Paris.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

May 25 Comment

Celebrating The Class Of 2016: Peace Odiase

Odiase is one of two valedictorians at Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville, Tennessee.

May 25 7 Comments

NEADS Service Dog Meets His Match

Here & Now has been tracking service dog Bailey, who recently met his new owner, since last year.

May 24 19 Comments

Remembering A Forgotten Scandal At Yale

Mark Oppenheimer was surprised to find how the scandal impacted those involved, almost 60 years later.

May 24 9 Comments

Arizona’s ‘Adopt-A-Burro’ Program Tries To Solve An Overpopulation Issue

The small donkeys are federally protected animals, but cause problems like digging up plants and walking on highways.