Jewel heist on French motorway nets €9 million
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Around 15 armed assailants attacked two vans carrying some nine million euros worth of jewels on a French motorway, ejecting the drivers and speeding away with the loot, police said Wednesday.
The attack took place around midnight on the A6 highway connecting Paris and Lyon, southeast of the French capital. Authorities are combing the Yonne region in Burgundy and surrounding areas for the attackers.
A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Associated Press that no one was injured in the robbery and the drivers of the two vans were left at the scene unharmed. The official said the two vans were found burned in a forest near the site of the attack, but the jewels were gone.
It is the latest in a string of high-profile heists in the country.
In November, two gunmen robbed a Cartier jeweller in a tourist-filled Paris neighbourhood, fled police in a chase across the Seine River, took a hostage and then surrendered.
In 2013, the Cannes Film Festival was rocked by two spectacular robberies. First, a gunman walked into a jewel show at the Carlton International Hotel, stole $136 million in loot, and disappeared down a side street. Then, two armed men made off with a haul of luxury watches on the same promenade.
Last month, eight people were convicted in connection with one of the most spectacular jewel thefts in recent French history at a Harry Winston boutique in Paris. In the 2008 hold-up, three cross-dressing gunmen stole about $92 million in goods.
(FRANCE 24 with AP)
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