Jewel thieves make off with $1 million booty in Switzerland

GENEVA (AFP) - Swiss police said Saturday they have launched a manhunt for three men who robbed a high-end jewelry store in Zurich, making off with a stash worth more than US$1 million (S$1.4 million).

Shortly after mid-day on Saturday, three unknown men walked into the luxurious Harry Hofmann shop in downtown Zurich and pulled a gun on two staff members, city police said in a statement.

"They stole numerous pieces of jewellery, gems and cash from the display and in an adjacent room. Shortly after they fled on foot... with a booty worth well over one million Swiss francs," the statement said. That equates to S$1.4 million.

The two shop employees, a man and a woman, were not hurt, it said.

Zurich police had rushed to the scene, but were unable to apprehend the robbers.

They immediately launched a manhunt for the trio, and published security footage photographs of two of them, showing tall, dark-haired men both wearing glasses and trimmed beards, who both allegedly spoke broken German.

Police said the third offender could not be described in detail.