Thieves Lift $5.4M in Jewels From Woman Stuck in Traffic
Paris raid took place in car tunnel known for 'smash-and-grabs'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2015 8:51 AM CDT
French police are searching for three thieves who stole a handbag containing $5.4M worth of jewels in a daring Paris raid.   (TooLateToDebate)

(Newser) – The Landy Tunnel that runs between Paris and Charles de Gaulle Airport is known for its traffic and, possibly as a result of that, frequent "smash-and-grab" crimes, where thieves bust car windows and snatch whatever they can from inside the car. A Taiwanese art collector stuck in the 0.8-mile tunnel Wednesday found that out firsthand when the taxi she was in was looted, with the thieves nabbing a handbag containing $5.4 million in Chanel jewelry, Sky News notes. Reported among the stolen gems was a $1.8 million ring. Police say they aren't sure if the perps targeted the victim or if they just lucked out in focusing on that car, the BBC notes.

Initial reports indicated the jewels were destined for the city's Museum of Modern Art, though the museum has denied that, per the BBC. A police source tells Sky that these types of raids are "often local delinquency. They ... know the area and escape through emergency exits." But dumping the jewels for a big payday could prove difficult for the thieves: The gems were numbered, so only those with a solid contact network would be able to sell them easily, the police source adds. As a source puts it to Sky, "Either it was an order or they are in the s---." (This raid comes just two weeks after a London heist that may have netted thieves $300 million worth of stolen goods.)