The brutal, non-violent and professional behavior of thieves is reminiscent of the so-called “Pink Panthers”. This Montenegrin-born gang with members of the former Yugoslavia has committed hundreds of high-profile jewelry thefts in 35 countries since 1999, with at least €421 million in looting, according to Interpol. In March 2003, one of the first leaders, the Serbian Pedja Vugošević, stole watches worth 754 thousand euros from the Tourbillon jewelry store in Paris. He was arrested a year later in the French Alps and sentenced to nine years in prison.
The Pink Panthers owe it to the British detectives. After the UK’s biggest-ever jewelry heist – in 2002 for nearly €27 million in London – they found a ring weighing more than 6 tons hidden in a jar of cosmetic cream from a Montenegrin gang member, just like in the movie. American series Blake Edwards. French media immediately linked the gang at the end of 2016 to me Jewelry stolen from Kim Kardashian in Paris. Thieves disguised as agents have disappeared on a bicycle with 10 million euros in jewelry. The theft turned out to be the work of veteran French criminals. The trial of the 12 accused has not yet begun.
Even more spectacular was Harry Winston’s double jewel heist in Paris. The thieves disappeared in October 2007 and December 2008 with 900 pieces of jewelry worth 78.9 million euros. About 80 percent of the loot was recovered in 2009. Six of the eight French perpetrators were sentenced to 30 years in prison and two of repeat offenses to life in prison in France’s largest jewelry heist to date.
Other high-profile jewelry thefts in Paris occurred at the Ritz (2018, 4 million) and jewelers Buccellati (2017, 5 million), Chopard (2016, 6 million and 2009, 6.6 million), Casty (2013, 2 million) .), Chaumet (2009, 1.9 million euros), Castiglione at the Louvre (2007, 11.5 million euros) and Fred (2002, 5.5 million euros).
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