Jewellery worth over $1 million stolen at Cannes

Thieves have stolen Chopard jewellery worth $1 million at Cannes Film Festival, French police reported on Friday. The jewellery was due to be loaned to film stars over the coming days.

Jewellery worth over $1 million stolen at Cannes
File photo of a Chopard necklace. Photo:AFP

Jewellery worth more than one million dollars made by Swiss luxury watchmaker and jeweller Chopard and due to be loaned to stars walking the red carpet at the Cannes film festival were stolen from a hotel, police said Friday.

The robbery took place at around 5:00 a.m (0300 GMT) at the Novotel hotel in the centre of Cannes, they said. Police are looking at footage from the city's security cameras to hunt for clues.

In a scenario itself worthy of a movie, thieves entered the hotel room of an American woman employee of Swiss bijoutier Chopard and ripped out the strongbox in the wardrobe, according to police reports.

They then made off with the safe and the jewels inside

Chopard is one of the official sponsors of the festival. The jeweller redesigned the Palme d'Or trophy and each year creates jewellery sets for the "mounting the steps" ritual.

There was some relief for festival organisers and Chopard however as the Palme d'Or trophy itself had not been stolen. An official linked the festival told AFP the trophy was "safe".

The Swiss jeweller based in Geneva shares a long history with the festival. Every year it lends its expensive jewellery to stars and hosts special events for the rich and famous.

In 2010, the Chopard celebrated its 150th anniversary when it provided the finest jewellery for the likes of Eva Herzigova, as well as Marion Cotillard, Kate Beckinsale, Charlotte Casiraghi, Emmanuelle Béart, and Paris Hilton.

Chopard is one of the official sponsors of the festival, and one of its stores, complete with its own red carpet, lies on the palm-fringed beachfront, just opposite the venue.

In a twist, the jewels disappeared just after the premiere of Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring," about celebrity-fixated teens who rob Hollywood homes.

Friday's theft of the Chopard is not the first time the Cannes Film Festival has been hit by a heist.

Last year, thieves made off with four watches worth 400,000 euros ($513,000) belonging to football stars Souleymane Diawara and Mamadou Niang who were in Cannes for the festival.

Friday's theft is the latest high profile jewellery robbery in recent months.

In february armed robbers hit an upscale diamond jeweller in central Paris, making off with valuables estimated to be worth up to three million euros (four million dollars), police  said.

The two men armed with handguns held up the De Beers stand in the Printemps department store in the early evening heist. A source close to the police inquiry said they did not fire their weapons and no one was injured.

De Beers declined to comment on the attack.

The heist came less than 24 hours after masked thieves staged a spectacular five-minute robbery on the tarmac at Brussels airport, stealing diamonds worth $50 million (37 million euros).

Updates to follow.

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Axe-wielding robbers steal €400k of jewels from luxury Paris hotel

French police are searching for a team of robbers who stole thousands of euros' worth of jewels and luxury clothing in a nighttime raid at a plush hotel in Paris.

Axe-wielding robbers steal €400k of jewels from luxury Paris hotel
Thieves targeted the Peninsula Hotel in Paris. Photo: AFP

Two men wearing balaclavas and gloves entered the Peninsula hotel, just a stone's throw from the Arc de Triomphe, shortly after midnight and held employees at gunpoint, police sources said.

One of the attackers then used an axe to break into four display cases, making off with items worth a total of €350,000 to €400,000.

An accomplice then drove them away in a car that was found burning shortly afterwards in the suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, west of the capital.

No shots were fired and no one was injured in the robbery, the sources said.

France's organised crime brigade has taken over the inquiry.

Luxury Paris hotels have been the target of several robberies in recent years, as have jewellery stores and wealthy tourists visiting the city.

In January 2018, three men were charged over an audacious yet unsuccessful jewellery heist at the Ritz, after they were thwarted by locked doors as they tried to flee.

Last September, three Russian tourists were robbed of thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry and luxury clothing shortly after landing at a Paris airport reserved for private jets.