Cannes: Cartier Store on Croisette Robbed a Week Before the Festival (Report)
Four armed men heisted the famous boutique, walking away with at least €1 million in jewels.
It's only a week until red carpet time, but sparks are already flying on the Croisette.
On Tuesday morning, four armed men stormed into the Cartier jewelry store in Cannes, Agence France Presse reports. The heist lasted between 5-10 minutes, with the robbers reportedly taking valuable jewels displayed in the boutique's windows before escaping into midday traffic. The total amount of the take is estimated to be at least €1 million, according to local radio station France Bleu Azur.
With increased security measures expected in Cannes following the Paris terrorist attacks this past January, the robbery occurred at a busy thoroughfare in the city — directly across the street from the Carlton hotel, where many Hollywood stars and execs are lodged during the festival.
This is not the first time high-priced jewels have been targeted by thieves in Cannes. In 2013, Chopard pieces estimated at $1 million were stolen from the safe of a hotel room while the festival was taking place. Only a few days later, a De Grisogono diamond necklace, valued at $2 million, was lifted during a soirée at the Eden-Roc Cap d'Antibes hotel, while guests like Sharon Stone and Ornella Mutti were attending the event.
But the biggest Cannes take in recent years occurred in July 2013 at the Carlton, where an armed masked man leaped through a ground floor window into a private jewelry sale, walking away unscathed with an estimated $100 million in valuables. The heist is considered one the biggest in French history and a suspect has yet to be arrested, though some experts suggest it was the work of the infamous Pink Panther gang.
Despite Tuesday's robbery, which happened at 11 a.m. Cannes-time, police statistics state that the rate of thefts on the Croisette dropped in 2014 compared to the year before, with one armed robbery, one case of breaking-and-entering and seventeen other thefts reported.
Still, with only seven days to go until opening night, the theft definitely puts a damper on the festival's luxurious facade, with a huge amount of stars expected to be attending this year's edition.