Cannes loses sparkle after €300,000 hotel jewel raid

Robbers make off with Chopard haul intended for famous necks

Robbers made off with a haul of jewels worth more than €300,000 (£250,000) today during a raid on a Cannes hotel, hours after the screening of a film about a gang who stole luxury goods and cash from the rich and famous.

The jewels were taken at around 5am from a room in the Hotel Novotel on the Boulevard Carnot, close to theseafront and the Palais des Festivals, where screenings for the 66th Cannes Film Festival take place.

The pieces were stolen from the hotel room of an employee of the luxury Swiss jeweller Chopard, which also makes the Palme d’Or and other trophies for the festival.

A safe containing the jewels was cut free by an intruder and carried off, according to a spokesman for the Police Judiciare in Nice. Officers are sifting through security camera footage from around the hotel for clues.

Commander Bernard Mascarelli said: “Apparently this [hotel guest] was someone who was targeted because it wasn’t someone who had been seeking attention...There must have been either an inside complicity, or people who were in contact with this person and knew that the person had jewels.” He added that it seemed “pretty unlikely” the theft had been the work of one person.

The police said the value of the stolen goods was more than $1m – a figure disputed by Chopard. The company confirmed the theft in a brief statement, saying: “An employee of Chopard jewellery house has been the victim of a robbery last night in their hotel room while not on premises.” It added that the “value of the pieces stolen is far lower than those circulating in the media”.

The company added  that, despite reports to the contrary, the jewels were “not part of the collection that are worn by actresses during the Cannes Film Festival” .

The British supermodel Cara Delevingne and actresses Julianne Moore and Freida Pinto all wore Chopard jewellery at the opening of this year’s film festival.

The heist took place just hours after the premiere of The Bling Ring, a true story of teenagers who broke into homes of the rich and famous in Los Angeles and made off with a haul of nearly $3m. The film, directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Emma Watson, earned praise from critics after its debut on Thursday.

Chopard has made the Palme d’Or for the festival since 1998. This year’s trophy, which is worth more than €20,000 (£17,000), was not in the stolen safe, festival organisers said.

The company is a byword for opulence, and its creations can often be seen adorning actresses’ ears, necks and arms at awards ceremonies and premieres. The winner of this year’s best actress Oscar, Jennifer Lawrence, wore its jewels, as did Hilary Swank, Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet.

When Chopard began sponsoring Cannes, it had a team of four working on the Riviera. Now it has 40 staff there ensuring that its jewellery makes its way onto the biggest names at the festival.

In an interview with the London Evening Standard on Wednesday, Caroline Scheufele, Chopard’s co-vice president, said: “Cannes is such an important moment in an actress’s career. They have to look their best. We just try to help a bit.”

It is not the first time that a major theft has taken place in Cannes. In 2009, robbers wearing Hawaiian shirts held up a Cartier boutique, making off on motorbikes with jewels, watches and luxury goods worth almost £13m.

'It's a bit like Bradford': New discovery’s verdict on Cannes

When two working-class lads from Bradford auditioned for roles in a film, they could never have believed that they would end up bringing it to the French Riviera and Europe’s glitziest film festival.

Conner Chapman, 13, and Shaun Thomas, 15, are among the festival’s discoveries for their performances in The Selfish Giant, directed by Clio Barnard, which critics have called  “astonishing”. They said yesterday they never dreamed they could make it to Cannes.

Conner, pictured in a scene from the film, said: “I always used to watch famous people and think, ‘I want to do that, but I probably won’t be able to’. I won’t be able to stop smiling when we go to the movie tonight.”

Shaun added: “It’s like wanting to be a footballer. You don’t think it can happen but it’s about getting the right opportunities, isn’t it?”

He had never been to France before, while Conner had visited once to watch Bradford Bulls play a match.

The boys arrived in Cannes on Thursday night, ahead of the film’s official screening as part of the Directors’ Fortnight, only to be met with English weather. “We were looking forward to it,” Shaun said. “But when we got here it was pouring with rain. It wasn’t much better than Bradford.”

The film is based on the Oscar Wilde story of the same name. Conner plays Arbor, who is excluded from school along with his friend Swifty, played by Shaun. They end up collecting metal for a scrap dealer, which causes tensions and ultimately leads to a tragic turn of events that changes their lives.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?