The brutal, nonviolent, 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. A year later, he was arrested 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. The French media immediately linked the gang to the theft of jewelry in Kim Kardashian in Paris at the end of 2016. Thieves disguised as agents disappeared on a bicycle with jewelry worth 10 million euros. 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 repeat offenders to life in prison in France’s largest jewelry heist to date.
Other high-profile jewelry robberies 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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