Cannes Crime Spree Continues With More Burglaries, Physical Attacks

Cannes Film Festival Landscape at Night - H 2013
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Cannes Film Festival Landscape at Night - H 2013

“In the span of an hour they had gotten into the house through the roof and gone through all of our rooms," says CIT Group managing director Kevin Khanna, whose villa was robbed Monday.

Festgoers beware: The Cannes crime spree isn't over. Following last week’s news of the high-profile $1 million Chopard heist and the burglary of Zhang Qiang’s rented apartment, there are reports of new victims.

CIT Group managing director Kevin Khanna and Silver Pictures co-president Steve Richards returned to their five-bedroom villa behind the Majestic Hotel on Monday to find all of their valuables missing.

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“In the span of an hour they had gotten into the house through the roof and gone through all of our rooms,” said Khanna. “They only took cash, laptops, iPads and women’s jewelry but left our passports and credit cards. They were very professional.”

Khanna’s group reported the incident to the police, who said “nothing could be done and that these robberies happen all the time,” said Khanna. “They told us we were lucky that we weren’t in the house and that no one got hurt."

But physical attacks are being reported as well. Banker Charles Heaphy was mugged late at night near the Cannes train station a few days ago. Apparently, police told Heaphy he was lucky he wasn’t stabbed.

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Gersh agent Jay Cohen and Waterstone Entertainment’s Stephen Bowen and Jeff Kalligheri were also accosted as they left the Palm Beach casino early Sunday morning, at around 3 a.m. Three men started to push and grab at them, attempting to lift a wallet and watch.

“They followed us for ten minutes, then snuck up on us, and I put my umbrella in my hand like a punching glove,” said Cohen. “Jeff told them we were sober so they may not want to do this, and eventually we got them away. The funny part was none of them were very large. But they want to take advantage of drunk people coming out of clubs.”

Film Tree execs Graham Begg and Ed Sharp had a robbery at their Cannes apartment as well. "Laptops, iPads, money, credit cards, clothes were among the items stolen," said Begg. "They left our passports."

“There have always been issues with this sort of thing during the festival,” said Khanna, “But it seems like there is more of it this year. I think it’s tied to the poor economic conditions.”