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Armed robber steals $136 million in jewelry from Lev Leviev in France

By Mason White 3:14 PM July 30, 2013
Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in France 

By: Ryan Lee Hall
(Scroll down for video) Police are looking to arrest and charge a man with armed robbery related charges after stealing $136 million in jewelry from an Israeli billionaire, according to police reports in France.

Police in France said that the jewelry was stolen from a luxury hotel in Cannes on Sunday by one-armed man with an automatic pistol. The theft is the largest ever theft in France.

A man entered the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel on the beach of the French Riviera resort through a terrace and a side window, which was supposedly locked, and stole 34 pieces of jewelry before fleeing, Philippe Vique, the deputy prosecutor of the nearby town of Grasse, and has authority over Cannes, said.

The heist stirred memories of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 movie “To Catch a Thief” starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, in which expensive jewels disappeared from the same luxury hotel, which also appeared in many other movies.

The jewels stolen Sunday were part of an exhibition of works from the prestigious house of Leviev diamonds, owned by Russian-born Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, who confirmed the robbery. Leviev employees based in London said the company is working with the police and insurance companies. The company refused to confirm the value of the stolen jewels.

Vique said the theft surpasses the previous French record of over $106 million, in a robbery carried out by several men in Paris in 2008.