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
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1635 GMT (0035 HKT)
The possibility of pockets of air remaining within the hull of the sunken South Korean ferry offers hope to rescuers -- and relatives -- say experts.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Despite hundreds still missing after the sinking of a South Korean ferry, reports of text messages keep hope alive that there may be survivors yet.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1614 GMT (0014 HKT)
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 2131 GMT (0531 HKT)
Russia's propaganda worse now than at height of Cold War, says Leon Aron, director of Russian studies at AEI.
Sanctions imposed against Russia are working as a deterrent, President Barack Obama and other White House senior administration officials said.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 0440 GMT (1240 HKT)
A lack of progress in the search for MH370 is angering the families of victims.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1509 GMT (2309 HKT)
The searches for the Titanic and Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 share common techniques.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 0335 GMT (1135 HKT)
This year's Pyongyang marathon was open to foreign amateurs.
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1753 GMT (0153 HKT)
How are police preparing for this year's 26.2-mile marathon, which takes place Monday?
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1702 GMT (0102 HKT)
Katrina Karkazis
Romance is hard, for anyone. For people with intersex traits, love poses unique challenges.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 2126 GMT (0526 HKT)
The "kill switch," a system for remotely disabling smartphones and wiping their data, will become standard in 2015.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1552 GMT (2352 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
ADVERTISEMENT