Thieves use common Paris street scam to steal €200K in jewels

Thieves snatched €200,000 ($215,000) in jewels from an art fair in Paris at the weekend, police said on Monday.

Thieves use common Paris street scam to steal €200K in jewels
Photo: AFP
Exhibitors were packing up their stands at the Grand Palais exhibition space in the French capital on Sunday when one person distracted the seller and another made off with a box of jewels.
Reports suggest the accomplice had dropped money on the ground near the victim, who helped to pick it up as the thief struck. 
The theft took place during Art Paris Art Fair 2017, a show of modern and contemporary art held a short distance from the prestigious Champs-Elysees avenue.
The event brought together work from 140 modern art galleries from around 20 countries.
The theft follows a string of jewel heists in and around France in recent months.
On March 25, an armed gang working in broad daylight stole millions of euros worth of gems from a Cartier store in Monaco — a tiny principality on the French Riviera.
All the loot from that robbery has been recovered and four people have been arrested.
In Paris, several suspects remain in custody over the high-profile robbery of US reality TV star Kim Kardashian.
Kardashian was tied up in a luxury Paris residence and robbed at gunpoint of jewellery worth around nine million euros.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


French court orders partial release for convicted Corsican nationalist

A French court on Tuesday ordered the partial release of a Corsican nationalist who has served 24 years in jail for the 1998 murder of a top French official.

French court orders partial release for convicted Corsican nationalist

Under the ruling, Pierre Alessandri will be allowed out of jail to work for a landscaping company in the daytime and will be granted a full conditional release in a year if he behaves well.

The relaxation of Alessandri’s conditions of detention came amid tensions between the Mediterranean island’s pro-autonomy leaders and the French state, after a fellow Corsican detained in the same case was killed in a French prison in March.

Alessandri and a third Corsican detainee were transferred from mainland France to a jail in Corsica in April after the murder of Yvan Colonna.

The Paris appeals court granted Alessandri “a probationary partial release” of 12 months from February 13, the prosecutor-general Remy Heitz said.

If he behaves well, he would then be granted “conditional release” for another ten years, he said.

Alessandri’s lawyer Eric Barbolosi hailed the ruling as a “great relief”.

“For the first time in a court of appeals, the magistrates made a decision based on the criteria necessary for a conditional release, not the particular nature of the case,” he said.

Alessandri had served enough time to be eligible for such a release by 2017, and had already petitioned to be freed three times.

But national anti-terror prosecutors objected, and an appeals court barred his release.

The country’s highest court then quashed one of these decisions, ordering the Paris appeals court to re-examine it.

Colonna, a former goat herder, was announced dead on March 21 after an Islamist extremist who accused him of blasphemy strangled and suffocated him in a prison in the southern town of Arles in mainland France.

He was detained in 2003 after four years on the run, and sentenced in 2007, and then again in 2011, to life in jail over the killing in 1998 of the French government prefect of Corsica, Claude Erignac.

The killing was the most shocking of a series of attacks by pro-independence militant group FLNC.

Alessandri and another nationalist, Alain Ferrandi, had already been sentenced to life in jail in 2003 over the murder.

Ferrandi, who was transferred to the same Corsican jail, has also requested to be released on parole, and a decision is due on February 23rd.

Colonna’s murder sparked violent protests in Corsica.

It galvanised the nationalist movement and led President Emmanuel Macron’s government to offer talks about giving greater political autonomy to the territory.