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PARIS – Still reeling from Sunday’s historical heist of $136 million in jewels from an exhibit at the Carlton Hotel, Cannes was hit with yet another brazen burglary on Wednesday morning just steps from the Palais.
Two thieves stormed the Kronometry store across the street from the Palais des Festivals on the Croisette at around 11 a.m. local time, and made off with 40 luxury watches. Local police have not yet estimated their value.
Kronometry carries watches from high-end luxury brands such as Audemars Piguet, Hublot and Vacheron Constantin. Audemars Piguet watches range in price from around $20,000 to $869,000 and Vacheron Constantin watches vary from about $50,000 to $725,000.
The Kronometry store was known to have one of the 18 limited edition diamond-encrusted Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Squelette watches. Other Hublot limited edition watches have been valued at up to $1 million.
The first thief entered the store posing as a customer before wielding a grenade, and was quickly joined by an accomplice carrying a handgun. The pair emptied the display cases in the street-facing windows before fleeing in a car.
This is the second high-profile case in three days following the world record-breaking heist at the famed Carlton hotel on Sunday, about a 10-minute walk down the Croisette from Wednesday’s robbery. On Tuesday, regional government announced that they would set up a committee to seek solutions to improve security for the luxury shopping area that overlooks the Mediterranean.
These are just the latest incidents impacting luxury brands in the city. During the Cannes Film Festival, sponsor Chopard lost an estimated $1.4 million in jewelry after the hotel room safe of an employee was ripped from the wall. Police at the time suspected an inside job. Just days later, a $2.6 million dollar necklace went missing from Swiss jeweler de Grisogono’s star-studded annual fete at the Hotel du Cap.
The film festival was also plagued by smaller crimes, including break-ins at private residences, hotels and street thefts. Additional thefts were reported among delegates at the Cannes Lions advertising festival in June, and festival organizers told The Hollywood Reporter that they are working with police to improve city security. Cannes Lions CEO Philip Thomas said the local police have been “very cooperative.”
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