PARIS — A staggering $53 million worth of jewels and diamonds were stolen today from the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in Cannes, in one of the biggest French jewelry heists in recent years, police said.
The French Riviera hotel was hosting a temporary jewelry exhibit over the summer of the prestigious Leviev diamond house, which is owned by Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev.
A police spokesman said the theft took place around noon in broad daylight, but he could not confirm local media reports that the robber was a single gunman who stuffed a suitcase with the gems. The spokesman spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter on the record.
Earlier this year in May, Cannes was struck by two highly publicized jewelry heists during the Cannes Film Festival.
In the first theft, robbers stole about $1 million worth of jewels after ripping a safe from the wall of a hotel room. The jewelry was taken from the Novotel room of an employee of Chopard, the Swiss-based watch and jewelry maker that has loaned bling to A-list stars walking the red carpet at the film festival.
And in the second, thieves outsmarted 80 security guards in an exclusive hotel and made off with a De Grisogono necklace that creators say is worth $2.6 million.