One Guy Stole $53 Million in Jewels in Cannes

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The year has been a bad one for bold jewelry heists along the beautiful walkways and beaches in Frances' playground for the rich and famous. But the latest one is the biggest and boldest yet because of the crime's simplicity and scale. 

The Associated Press reports a "staggering" $53 million worth of jewels and diamonds belonging to Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev. The jewelry was lifted from the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel, in broad daylight, around 11:45 a.m. Sunday morning. Leviev's jewels were on loan until the end of the summer for a temporary exhibit at the hotel, which is said to be located on one of the nicest strips in the whole city. It was one of "Europe's biggest jewelry heists in recent years," according to the AP, and it was all allegedly pulled off by one man

[Police] 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.

One suspect walking away with $53 million in jewels in broad daylight is a heck of a feat. Whether or not that suspect gets away with it before being caught by the authorities, or someone else, remains to be seen. 

This is the latest major heist pulled off on Cannes' beautiful shores this year. During the spotlight of the city's annual film festival, some $1.4 million worth of Chopard jewels were stolen from one of the Riviera's swankiest hotels. About a week later, another $2.6 million worth of jewels was stolen from another hotel on the Riviera. As our Esther Zuckerman explained at the time, the city has a long history of being hit by jewel thieves. But the $53 million taken today dwarf's any other heist in Cannes, or Europe, in a long time. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.