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FRANCE

Robbers make off with 17.5m-euros of jewels ahead of Cannes Film Festival

Police at the scene of a jewellery heist on the Croisette in 2013
Police at the scene of a jewellery heist on the Croisette in 2013 Reuters/Eric Gaillard

Armed robbers grabbed 17.5-million-euros-worth of jewels from a shop on the seafront of Cannes, just eight days ahead of the opening of the famous film festival.It is not the first time thieves have struck the luxury trades in the swish Riviera resort. 

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The robbery lasted just five or 10 minutes but was very profitable.

A man with his face concealed behind a mask of an elderly person and brandishing a machine-pistol managed to enter the jewellers' shop and let in two accomplices, while another kept watch.

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They made off in a Mercedes, which was later found destroyed by fire.

As well as the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, where the film festival is held, the Cannes promenade, the Croisette, is home to 70 shops selling designer jewellery, leather goods and clothes and the town is no stranger to heists.

During the 2013 festival jewellery worth one million euros was stolen from a safe in the luxurious Carlton Hotel.

Shortly afterwards an armed robber sneaked into the same hotel and made off with 100-million-euros-worth of diamond-encrusted jewels.

Since then local businesses have set a committee to improve contact with the police.

In 2014 there was one armed robbery, one burglary and 17 cases of shoplifting.

That is regarded as a success since it was much lower than the previous year.

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