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Cannes on alert this year after audacious diamond heists

Published on May 13, 2014 12:11 PM
 
French police officers at the Cannes Film Festival on May 12. Security is being tightened in Cannes this year after a spate of increasingly audacious thefts highlighted the ease with which jewel thieves can strike. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - Movie stars like to sparkle on the red carpet but security is being tightened in Cannes this year after a spate of increasingly audacious thefts highlighted the ease with which jewel thieves can strike.

A year ago, as film festival luminaries partied into the early hours, a thief broke into the hotel room of an employee of Swiss jewellers Chopard and made off with a US$1.4 million haul in a crime straight out of Alfred Hitchcock's "To Catch a Thief".

In another twist, the theft came hours after the premiere of "The Bling Ring", Sofia Coppola's film about a group of Californian teenagers who break into celebrity mansions to steal designer items while their A-list owners are out on the red carpet.

Twelve months on, with the jewels still missing and the trail gone cold, Cannes authorities are preparing to deploy nearly 700 police for the 2014 festival.

 
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