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Man in Suit, Tie Carries Out 'Daring' Paris Jewel Heist

Suspect hit one of France's oldest jewelers
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2021 11:20 AM CDT
Man in Suit, Tie Carries Out 'Daring' Paris Jewel Heist
Stock photo.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Jean-Claude Van Damme's first credited film role was a brief appearance in a movie about a jewel heist. Life seemed to imitate art Tuesday in Paris, where a jewel heist was carried out while would-be witnesses at an adjacent cafe happened to be distracted by Van Damme, who was visiting a nearby optician, reports the Guardian. As diners gawked, French police say a thief dressed in a light gray suit and tie stole jewels worth at least $2.3 million from a Chaumet jewelry store and fled on an electric scooter. The man reportedly initially pretended to shop after entering the store around 5pm local time, asking that pricey pieces be shown to him, before brandishing a knife that went unused. A local official called the theft "mind-boggling, daring, unprecedented, and regrettable."

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Reuters calls Chaumet one of the country's oldest jewelry brands, one now owned by luxury goods conglomerate LVMH. Opened in 1780, the jeweler saw a big theft in 2009, when jewels then worth about $2.2 million were stolen. This theft comes just weeks after another high-profile one, this time at Cannes, where actress Jodie Turner-Smith saw tens of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry taken from her Marriott hotel room. Variety reports her mother's wedding ring was among the stolen pieces, and the thinking is that thieves may have chosen her due to the gold and diamond Gucci jewelry she wore to the premiere of After Yang the night before the theft. That jewelry was no longer in her possession. (Read more jewel heist stories.)

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