Multi-million-euro jewellery heist well planned

8th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

8 October 2007, PARIS (AFP) - More details emerged Sunday of a daring raid on the Paris branch of up-market jewellers Harry Winston, just off the Champs Elysees, that netted at least 10 million euros (14 million dollars) worth of merchandise.

8 October 2007

PARIS (AFP) - More details emerged Sunday of a daring raid on the Paris branch of up-market jewellers Harry Winston, just off the Champs Elysees, that netted at least 10 million euros (14 million dollars) worth of merchandise.

Three or four masked raiders burst into the shop Saturday morning at 10:00 am (0800 GMT) and overpowered the staff before having the safes opened, said police. They made off with jewels, jewellery and watches.

The staff were left in a state of shock but physically unharmed.

Those responsible knew exactly what they were doing, said police.

Harry Winston, located in the heart of one of the wealthiest districts of Paris, is in the same league as Cartier, Van Cleef, Arpels and Bulgari as top international dealers in jewellery for the rich and famous.

Founded in 1888 by Jacob Winston in the United States, it was the son Harry who built up the business into a worldwide operation by shrewdly courting celebrities. Even today, the chain regularly supplies jewels to stars attending red carpet events.

Harry Winston even gets a name check in the famous song "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" performed by Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 Howard Hawks comedy "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes".

The weekend raid is on a par with the theft of two diamonds during the bi-annual antique dealers' show in Paris in September 2004, worth an estimated 11.5 million euros.

The raiders however will not get anything like the face value of their haul, according to one specialist consulted by AFP.

Its value would drop sharply because anyone receiving the stolen goods would have to take the jewels out of their settings to disguise their origin.

The diamonds would only be sellable on the black market at far less than their true value.

AFP

Subject: French news

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