Jewelry stolen near Cannes Film Festival


Reporters gather outside the Novotel hotel during the 66th international film festival in Cannes, southern France, on Friday. (The Associated Press)

Published: Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 17, 2013 at 5:36 p.m.

Thieves ripped a safe from the wall of a hotel room near the Cannes Film Festival and made off with around $1 million worth of jewelry, in a brazen late-night burglary just hours after the screening of a film about break-ins at the homes of Hollywood celebrities, French officials said Friday.

The apparently well-planned robbery at the Novotel hotel took place in the room of an employee of Chopard, the Swiss-based watch and jewelry maker and festival sponsor that was hosting a splashy gala event in a far ritzier hotel around the same time, officials said.

Chopard has loaned jewelry to A-list stars who walk on the festival's famed red carpet under rapid-fire flashes of photographers' cameras. Already this year model Carla Delevingne and actress Julianne Moore have walked the carpet in Chopard gems.

“The jewels stolen are not part of the collection of jewels that are worn by actresses during the Cannes film festival,” Chopard spokeswoman Raffaella Rossiello told reporters in a brief statement Friday.

Cmdr. Bernard Mascarelli, a judicial police spokesman in the nearby city of Nice, said he didn't know the exact type of jewelry taken, or its exact value. “Numbers have been put forward that we're still trying to verify, but the figure of $1 million ... we're in that range,” he said.

The theft was believed to have taken place sometime between 7 p.m. Thursday and 3 a.m. Friday, said Mascarelli, when the Chopard employee returned to the hotel room and noticed the damage. Mascarelli said he did not know whether the employee had been attending a Chopard gala that was running late into the night at the Hotel Martinez across town, where the company has a suite during the festival.

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