Skip to main content

Stolen Cannes jewels worth close to $136M, official says

By Alex Felton, CNN
July 30, 2013 -- Updated 1337 GMT (2137 HKT)
In 1978 gangster Jimmy "The Gent" Burke stole $8 million in cash and jewels from John F. Kennedy International Airport. It was considered the largest robbery in U.S. history at the time. Burke died in 1996 while serving 20 years to life in a New York prison when he fell ill with cancer. On January 23, five alleged mobsters were arrested on racketeering charges related to the 1978 heist. In 1978 gangster Jimmy "The Gent" Burke stole $8 million in cash and jewels from John F. Kennedy International Airport. It was considered the largest robbery in U.S. history at the time. Burke died in 1996 while serving 20 years to life in a New York prison when he fell ill with cancer. On January 23, five alleged mobsters were arrested on racketeering charges related to the 1978 heist.
HIDE CAPTION
Top heists around the world
Top heists around the world
Top heists around the world
Top heists around the world
Top heists around the world
Top heists around the world
Top heists around the world
Top heists around the world
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A police official said earlier that the jewels were worth about $53 million
  • The heist is the third major gem or jewelry robbery in the Cannes area this year
  • Sunday's heist happened at a jewelry exhibition at the Carlton Hotel

Cannes (CNN) -- The value of jewels stolen from an exhibition in the French resort city of Cannes on Sunday is close to $136 million -- more than twice the amount stated in earlier reports -- the Nice prosecutor's office told CNN Monday.

The robbery -- the third such heist around the city since May -- happened Sunday morning at a jewelry exhibition at the Carlton Hotel, according to Philippe Vique, deputy prosecutor for organized crime in the prosecutor's office.

Earlier, a Nice police official told CNN on condition of anonymity that the jewels were worth about $53 million.

The robber, whose face was covered by a hat and a scarf, had a semiautomatic pistol and threatened to shoot the exhibitors and guests, Vique said.

Jewelry thefts reported at Cannes

Cannes hit by another jewel heist
Jewel heist in Cannes

Security guards were present but unarmed, he said. No one was injured.

The gems were supposed to have been on display until the end of August.

The robbery follows two major jewel heists this year at events tied to the Cannes Film Festival.

During the festival in May, a necklace worth $2.6 million was stolen from a hotel party shortly after jewels worth more than $1 million were stolen from a safe in a hotel room.

Jeweler de Grisogono said the necklace was part of a collection making its debut.

The jewels stolen in May were from the Swiss firm Chopard, which was sponsoring the festival.

Notable diamond heists

CNN's Stephanie Halasz, Vladimir Duthiers and Lauren Russell contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1049 GMT (1849 HKT)
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
British journalist John Cantlie hadn't been seen in nearly two years. Now, he's the latest hostage to be paraded out by ISIS.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 2303 GMT (0703 HKT)
Alibaba's IPO is unlike anything investors have ever seen and could threaten other online retailers. Maggie Lake reports.
September 21, 2014 -- Updated 1507 GMT (2307 HKT)
Indian PM Narendra Modi has said al Qaeda will fail if it seeks to spread its terror network into his country.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
September 20, 2014 -- Updated 1444 GMT (2244 HKT)
 Tennis Player Li Na attends the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party as guests enjoy Ciroc Vodka presented by Dubai Duty Free at Kensington Roof Gardens on June 19, 2014 in London,
Asia's first grand slam singles champion Li Na has called time on her 15-year tennis career.
Jenson Button has some of quickest reactions ever shown at an advanced sports lab.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1124 GMT (1924 HKT)
Creative companies with quirky ideas find new lending models advantageous.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1409 GMT (2209 HKT)
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT