He acted alone, on foot, with an uncovered face, armed with an automatic gun and a grenade. Yesterday, a robber stole 24 items of diamond jewellery from Harry Winston Jewellers. The thief is currently on the run. The robbery took place at 29 Croisette blvd, it was caught on camera and lasted only 8 minutes.
The record for “break-in of the century” still remains out of reach. But a fifteen-million-euro robbery has been unheard of in Cannes since the memorable flight to Carlton. On the 31st of July, 2013, a criminal had pocketed 103 million euro. Yesterday morning, a single individual attacked Harry Winston Jewellers located at 29 Croisette Boulevard. Again, the damage is in the millions. Fifteen million is the amount the stolen goods were evaluated at yesterday, a few hours after the highly publicized robbery. The initial estimate was around one million euro and has since been revised. 24 very valuable pieces have disappeared from their cases. Diamond ornaments, bracelets and rings were stuffed into the bag of the currently wanted criminal.
11:23 yesterday morning. A man in his thirties presented himself, alone, at Harry Winston Jewellers. His face was uncovered, but his eyes were hidden behind sunglasses. He passed by the guard on duty at the entrance. Two saleswomen welcomed him. No other clients were in at the time. “The individual claimed to be authorized by a client who wished to acquire diamond jewellery, and requested that the pieces be presented to him,” recounted Alain Guimbard, prosecutor in Grasse. “But the saleswoman was suspicious and refused to open the display unit. She preferred to give him a catalog instead. It was at this point that he took a handgun out of his pocket and a grenade.” Fake or real? This wasn’t the time to take a risk. Especially since the man then loaded a cartridge into the weapon, which made everyone understand his determination. Asked to lie down on the ground, the guard obeyed. A second set of surveillance cameras recorded the scene with screens set up at the back shop. “The employees did not try to retaliate,” said Alain Guimbard. The robber then opened the display case he coveted so much and grabbed the diamond jewellery. There was no gunfire or violence, other than psychological. He then took off the same way he came: on foot at 11:31 am. The entire scene lasted eight minutes. As soon as they were alerted, all police units in Cannes converged at Harry Winston. Informed by video images from the city’s CCTV cameras, they attempted to follow the trail of the fugitive, but in vain. Fifteen million is the result of a hold up as discreet as it is resounding. “You tell me! I did not know, I did not hear anything.” Just like the real estate agent neighboring the jeweler’s, neither the merchants nor the passers-by seemed to have noticed the daring robbery. Yesterday afternoon, between Majestic and Marriott, there was no indication that a robber has disturbed the winter calm of Croisette Boulevard. Grasse’s public prosecutor entrusts the investigation to the judicial police of Nice.
Pending the results from the fingerprints collected at the crime-scene, Banditry Repression Brigade(BRB), interviewed witnesses. The special Police unit hopes that the videos captured by the jewellery store and the City will offer some valuable evidence.
“We should have avoided it”“Even if one cannot guard 100%, the fact is that in this case, as in the previous one, this robbery could and should have been avoided.” David Lisnard is seeing red. The mayor of Cannes reacted strongly in a statement given yesterday. On the 19th of November, the city of festivals was the scene of a robbery at ‘Ferret’ where the stolen goods amounted to a value of one million euro (a suspect has since been arrested). David Lisnard is lecturing local businesses which are not equipped with armored security locks and an alarm button connected to the CPU. He is also tackling the state, calling it to authorize biometric recognition software. Sandrine Marcot, deputy chairman of the Union of Jewellery and Watchmaking, recalls “the efforts made in recent years”. But she insists: “Vigilance must remain in place, especially thanks to the implementation of video surveillance.”