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.