Paris jewellery heist suspect arrested in Belgium

13th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Belgian police have arrested a 52-year-old Frenchman who allegedly carried out an audacious jewellery robbery at an exclusive Paris store in May, local press reports.

Brussels -- Belgian police have arrested the Frenchman they think carried out an audacious jewellery robbery at an exclusive Paris store in May, local press reported Wednesday.
 
The 52-year-old suspect has been flown back to France to face trial after being picked up in the northern Belgian town of Antwerp and interrogated by police there, Het Laatste Nieuws reported.

It is not yet known when the suspect was arrested or whether police recovered any of the haul of EUR 6.6 million (USD 9.3 million) from the robbery of the exclusive Chopard store in central Paris.

Authorities in Antwerp, one of the biggest diamond centres in the world, could not be contacted immediately to confirm the report.

A man in his fifties dressed in a suit and hat identified himself as a customer to get through the Chopard security door before producing a handgun during the robbery on the 30 May. He ordered staff to give him the jewels before escaping on foot, with the whole robbery lasting just two minutes.

The robbery took place over the Whitsun weekend, when the city centre was packed with shoppers and tourists.

Chopard makes watches and jewels for many celebrities and has branches in most of the world's capitals. It also manufactures the distinctive Palme d'Or trophy for the Cannes film festival.

Last December thieves staged a record 100 million dollar jewel heist at the Harry Winston boutique in the posh Avenue Montaigne of the Champs-Elysees.

AFP / Expatica

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