Robbers in Drag Nab $100M in Paris Jewel Theft

Theft among costliest in French history
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 5, 2008 10:45 AM CST

(Newser) – Armed robbers—some dressed in drag—made off with $100 million in loot in what police today called one of France's costliest jewel heists. Brandishing handguns, three or four lightning-fast thieves swiped rings, necklaces, and luxury watches from display cases at the Harry Winston store near the Champs-Elysees in central Paris, the AP reports.

At least two of the bandits were men wearing wigs and dressed as women; at times they spoke a foreign language, and they knew employees' names, the official said. It was unclear whether anyone was injured, though the thieves reportedly struck some of the 15 employees on the head. A security monitoring group for the French jewelry industry has reported a 20% rise in armed robberies this year over last.