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
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0254 GMT (1054 HKT)
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0024 GMT (0824 HKT)
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 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