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Luxury Watch Store Robbed Days After Riviera Hotel Heist

NPR icon by Korva Coleman
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Valery Hache

In an amazing string of coincidences, a luxury watch store in Cannes, France, has been robbed just three days after an armed man successfully stole diamonds and other valuable jewels from a nearby hotel.

On Wednesday, two thieves entered the Kronometry shop in the central part of the city and threatened staffers with a gun and a hand grenade, according to The Telegraph. They escaped, possibly on foot, with dozens of watches, whose value isn't yet known.

Could it be another heist carried out by the infamous "Pink Panther" ring of international jewel thieves? There's no evidence suggesting that, but the timing is interesting.

Consider: Last Friday, a member of the Pink Panther gang broke out of a Swiss prison where he'd been serving a seven-year prison sentence for robbery. As Mark wrote, Milan Poparic is the third gang member to escape prison since May.

Consider: On Sunday, a masked gunman slipped into the Carlton InterContinental hotel and made off with $136 million in valuables. That's a lot more than the initial police estimate of $53 million, notes The Associated Press. It's possibly the biggest jewelry heist ever.

And consider: Wednesday's heist marks the second time the Kronometry shop has been robbed this year. France24 reports the store was held up in February. Thieves escaped with 150 watches worth about $1.3 million.

Or maybe it's just the allure of the ritzy Riviera. The Telegraph notes there were two big thefts in May: one at the Cannes Film Festival, where about $1 million in jewels were snatched, and another a few days later, when a necklace worth roughly $2.5 million was lifted from a hotel in the nearby town of Cap d'Antibes.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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