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PARIS — Wearing a scarf to mask his face, the gunman held up at least three security guards and then fled the luxury Cannes hotel roughly a minute later with $136 million in diamond jewelry, more than twice the initial estimated worth of the loot.
The simple, speedy robbery was the biggest jewelry theft in years. Police had previously said Sunday’s theft at the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel had netted $53 million worth of treasure. Philippe Vique, an assistant prosecutor in the Riviera town of Grasse, said the Dubai-based organizer of the diamond show had since raised the value based on a more complete inventory.
Vieques described a canny, but quick and logistically simple, break-in. The suspect somehow got in through the hotel’s locked French doors, which open onto Cannes’ famed Croisette promenade, then held up the participants of the show with a handgun and fled on foot.