Catch the thief - if you cannes

Jewel thieves target festival.

by Richard Mowe

If the ongoing monsoon season were not enough to cast dark clouds over the Riviera, another headline grabbing incident has ousted the star power from the front pages: a real-life jewellery heist.

It’s not quite as glamorous as the robbery depicted in Hitchcock’s Riviera-set To Catch A Thief with Cary Grant but $1million worth of sponsor Chopard’s gems were taken from a suite at the Novotel.

Chopard, responsible for the Palme d’Or trophy, helps to make such stars as Nicole Kidman glitter in their nightly ascent of the red-carpeted stairs at the front of the Palais des Festival, a Cannes ritual.

The local police believe that entry to the American employee of the company’s hotel bedroom was made via an unoccupied adjacent room. Hotel staff are under close questioning.

The theft on Thursday night (16 May) came in the wake of the screening of Sophia Coppola’s The Bling Ring about a group of LA teens who rob the homes of the rich and famous. Star Emma Watson has joked that she has an alibi for the time of the robbery. “I promise I am innocent,” she has joked.

Coupled with accommodation scams in which payments have been made for non-existent apartments and hotel rooms, this means Cannes is rapidly becoming a crime capital during the festival, with petty thieving rife along the Croisette.

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