2013 Carlton Cannes heist

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2013 Carlton Cannes heist
Cannes - hotel CARLTON.jpg
The hotel where the theft took place
Date July 28, 2013 (2013-07-28)
Outcome $56 million initial estimate
$136 million total

The Cannes jewel heist was an armed robbery at the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel[1] in Cannes, a city on the French Riviera.[2] The thief stole gemstones and watches ultimately valued at $136 million (€103 million/£89 million).[3] (Initial estimates had only reached $53 million (€37–38 million/£33-34 million), as they had not taken into account another room in the hotel.)[3]


The valuables were stolen from a private hotel salon,[4] which was very poorly guarded,[3] the guards having no weapons.[1] The jewels were present due to a display by Lev Avnerovich Leviev, the Israeli billionaire.[5]

The armed thief was described as having a baseball cap and scarf,[3] carrying a handgun.[6] The theft initiated a manhunt but no arrests were made.[6] Milan Poparic, a known member of the Pink Panthers, an organized crime gang, has been suggested as a potential suspect, having escaped prison days before the heist.[1] According to reporting by investigative journalist Ryan Jacobs, most believe the thief was unlikely to be acting on his own.[5][7]

The thief, carrying an automatic pistol, entered the salon through a french door, which might have been forced or left open,[6] and picked up a sack[4] containing 72 jewels, 34 of which have been described as exceptional,[4][8] in a suitcase.[1] The heist has been called the biggest heist ever in France,[8] and possibly the biggest heist of all time.[5] The theft was at the same hotel where Alfred Hitchcock's 1955 film To Catch a Thief was set.[9]

The robbery was the third in the Riviera over a short period, following the theft from the Cannes Film Festival of jewels worth $1.4 million, and the theft of a $1.9 million necklace.[7]


10 days after the heist[8] SW Associates, working for the insurers Lloyd's of London,[6] offered a $1.3 million (€1 million) reward to the first person to give information leading to recovery of the stolen items,[6] and released images of some of the stolen jewellery.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d Spitznagel, Eric (29 July 2013). "Life Imitates Hollywood in a $136 Million Jewelry Heist". Businessweek. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Cannes jewellery heist 'worth about $136 million'". France 24. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "$136M jewel heist in France one of biggest ever". Tampa Bay Times. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Jewel theft stuns French Riviera for its simplicity". The New York Times. 30 July 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "French jewel heist actually nets $136 million, may be biggest ever". Japan Times. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Austin, Henry (6 August 2013). "$1.3 million reward offered in wake of Cannes jewel heist". NBC. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "A lone bandit and the mystery of France's greatest diamond heist". The Atlantic. 5 September 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Masidlover, Nadyer; Landauro, Inti (6 August 2013). "Firm Offers Up to $1.33 Million for Information on Cannes Heist". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  9. ^ Lichfield, John (29 July 2013). "€100m Cannes jewel heist 'one of biggest ever'". The Independent. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "London insurer offers 1 million euros for Cannes jewel heist clues". The Jerusalem Post. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 

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