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A Fortune in Jewels Stolen in Daring Heist

Smash-and-grab robbers steal some 40 million euros worth of diamonds and jewels from Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev.
By David Lev
First Publish: 7/28/2013, 9:15 PM

Diamond - illustration
Diamond - illustration
Flash 90

A daring daylight robber nabbed some 40 million euros worth of diamonds and jewels from Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev. The robbery took place on the French Riviera – in a hotel that, ironically, was the set for one of the most famous movies ever about a jewel heist.

The jewels were on display at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, in the south of France, as part of an exhibition of rare diamonds and jewels. During the afternoon hours, a masked gunman entered the hotel and demanded the jewels, which had been packed up in a suitcase. The thief absconded, suitcase in hand, and disappeared.

Police immediately opened an investigation into the theft, one of the largest jewel heists in Europe in recent years. Estimates said that the stolen jewels were worth about 40 million euros, although no official confirmation came from Leviev, police, or the hotel.

During the recent Cannes film festival last May, thieves twice stole jewels that were on display as part of the same exhibition. Those thefts were far smaller than Sunday's though, with the jewels stolen in May worth no more than three million euros.

The Carlton Hotel in Cannes is famous for another jewel heist – one featured in the 1955 Alfred Hitchcock film “To Catch a Thief,” in which a retired jewel thief is accused of carrying out a major theft at the hotel.