Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jewels worth six million euros stolen from Paris store

Posted: 31 May 2009 0356 hrs

090531-0356hrs A Chopard store in Paris

PARIS - Jewellery worth some six million euros (8.4 million dollars) was stolen in a hold-up Saturday at the elite Chopard store in Paris's Place Vendome, police said.

The theft happened at around 3 pm (1300 GMT) at the premises near the Ritz Hotel, an official at the Paris police headquarters said, giving no details.

Chopard makes watches and jewels for the stars and has branches in most of the world's capitals. It also manufactures the distinctive Palme d'Or trophy for the Cannes film festival.

At a neighbouring jeweller's, a sales assistant told AFP they had "seen nothing, heard nothing," adding, "we were working."

In December thieves staged a record 100-million-dollar jewel heist at the Harry Winston boutique in the posh Avenue Montaigne of the Champs-Elysees.

Suspicion fell on the international gang known as the Pink Panthers.

On May 13 two Serbian alleged members of the gang of jewel thieves were arrested in Paris on suspicion of carrying out armed smash-and-grab raids on stores in Monaco, Switzerland and Germany.

The network of Balkan robbers is blamed for the theft of goods worth 110 million euros (140 million dollars) in the past decade.

French police have described the group's crimes as "lightning fast hold-ups: daring, but carefully planned down to smallest detail."

- AFP /ls

From; see the source article here.

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