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Cannes jewel heist took place in the space of a minute

A French assistant prosecutor has described an audacious jewel heist from a hotel in the French Riviera resort of Cannes which netted an estimated haul of £88m.

Philippe Vique told the Associated Press the suspect broke in through French doors at the hotel that open out onto Cannes' famed Croisette.

The armed robber broke in through French doors at the Carlton Hotel.

He then held up three private security guards, two vendors and a manager of a temporary jewellery exhibition with a handgun, then fled on foot.

Mr Vique said the hold-up itself took place in the space of about a minute.

"He took a bag containing a briefcase and a small box, and then fled by another French door on the inside. He left on foot ... it was very fast."

Estimated value of Cannes jewel heist goes up to £88m

The Carlton Hotel is situated on the French Riviera resort's famous promenade. Credit: Reuters/Regis Duvignau

A French prosecutor has said the estimated value of diamond jewels stolen in Cannes at the Carlton Hotel has been raised to $136 million (£88m).

Police had previously said $53 million (£34m) was netted in Sunday's theft, which was one of biggest jewellery heists in recent years.

An armed robber targeted a temporary exhibition from a diamond house owned by Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev in the daring raid in broad daylight.

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Cannes thief stole jewels from hotel's Leviev exhibition

Israeli businessmen and diamond merchant Lev Leviev has not commented on the grand theft. Credit: Reuters

The armed robber at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes targeted a temporary jewellery exhibition it was hosting from a diamond house owned by Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev.

It remains unclear how many pieces were stolen.

The valuable jewels were due to be on public display until the end of August.

Raided Cannes hotel is famous for Hitchcock heist theft

The lobby of the Carlton Hotel, which hosted Cary Grant and Grace Kelly during filming in 1954, a year before the film's release. Credit: REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

The Carlton Hotel, which has seen £34m worth of jewels stolen in broad daylight by an armed robber, earned its place in movie history for its association with jewellery theft.

The French Riviera resort provided the setting for Alfred Hitchcock's 1955 heist-thriller To Catch A Thief, which starred Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.

The Carlton built a close relationship with the film industry and now plays a central role in the annual Cannes Film Festival.

The advertising spots on the side of the Carlton Hotel are sought after during the Cannes festival. Credit: REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

French police: 'Thieves see Cannes as rich pickings'

The Carlton Hotel is situated on the French Riviera resort's famous promenade. Credit: REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

French police have said they are urgently hunting the armed man who today robbed the Carlton Hotel in Cannes of jewellery worth 40 million euros (£34 million) in broad daylight.

A Cannes police spokesman, quoted by the BBC, said: "A full and urgent operation is under way to catch the culprit and recover these jewels. Thieves see Cannes as rich pickings."

Read: Cannes Film Festival hit by second jewellery heist

Cannes' second jewellery heist in months

Today's daring jewels heist took place at the Carlton Hotel, located on the Croisette promenade, and one of the most prestigious locations to stay in France.

A satellite view of the Intercontinental Carlton hotel in Cannes, where jewels worth €40m were stolen this today in an armed raid.
A satellite view of the Intercontinental Carlton hotel in Cannes, where jewels worth €40m were stolen this today in an armed raid. Credit: Google Maps

The hold-up, which took place in broad daylight, was reportedly the work of one armed man who is said to have made off with the jewels in a briefcase.

In May, during the city's famous Film Festival, jewels worth €777,000 (£650,000) were stolen from the Novotel hotel room an employee of Swiss jewellers Chopard.

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The stars wear white at Cannes screening

Heidi Klum arriving for Nebraska screening held at the Palais Des Festivals as part of the 66th Cannes Film Festival.
Heidi Klum arriving for Nebraska screening held at the Palais Des Festivals as part of the 66th Cannes Film Festival. Credit: Briquet-Hahn-Marechal/ABACA/Press Association Images

White gowns dominated at the Cannes screening of Nebraska.

Heidi Klum, Nicole Kidman and Elsa Zylberstein all wore stunning pale floor length dresses.

Nicole Kidman and Ang Lee arriving for Nebraska screening held at the Palais Des Festivals as part of the 66th Cannes Film Festival.
Nicole Kidman and Ang Lee arriving for Nebraska screening held at the Palais Des Festivals as part of the 66th Cannes Film Festival. Credit: Briquet-Hahn-Marechal/ABACA/Press Association Images
Elsa Zylberstein arriving for Nebraska screening.
Elsa Zylberstein arriving for Nebraska screening. Credit: Briquet-Hahn-Marechal/ABACA/Press Association Images
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