When the first jewell theft occurred at the Cannes Film Festival, a friend of mine wrote on her blog that it made her think of that Alfred Hitchcock classic To Catch a Thief. Now that the second one has occurred at the Cannes Film Festival, I am inclined to say, “Monsieur John Robie, I presume.” In reference to the lead character that Cary Grant played in the film.
The world famous film festival was hit by a second jewellery theft on Thursday after a diamond necklace worth $2.6 million disappeared during a star-studded party, according to upmarket jeweler De Grisogono.
Fawaz Gruosi, the founder of the Swiss firm, said the necklace was part of the company’s 20th anniversary collection worn by 20 models at the star and jewell studded event at the Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes outside Cannes on Tuesday night.
Guests to the event were from the jet-setting world of famous faces, money and stars from the silver screen, Sharon Stone and Paris Hilton were just two the celebrity faces there.
Gruosi said 80 bodyguards, local police, hotel security, and De Grisogono staff had been on duty but when the final security check of the night was undertaken, the $2.6 million long-stranded diamond necklace was missing.
Speaking to Reuters Television Gruosi said, “We don’t know exactly what happened … it was one of the most beautiful items we had. The police are trying to figure out what happened.”
The first week of the festival saw another Swiss jeweler, Chopard, have gems worth $1.4 million stolen on the glamorous French Riviera. This section of France attracts thousands of actors, filmmakers and journalists as well as hundreds of tourists and paparazzi who all flock to the 12 day festival for glimpses of the stars, the beautiful models and to get pictures of both.
The police said in a statement that the stolen Chopard gems, that were intended to be used as “stage dressing” for the attending movie stars at the festival, had been locked in the safe of a Suite the four-star Novotel Hotel in central Cannes. The suite had been rented by an employee of the jeweler.
Police said in a statement that the entire safe had been taken from the wall and it was removed sometime during the night of May 16. They also stated that whoever had entered the suite did so without either forcing the door or using the magnetic key card.
Chopard’s spokesman later suggested that the value of the jewellery in the safe had been grossly exaggerated and that they were never intended for use by any of the stars attending the festival.
It has long been customary for jewellers and fashion houses to use the world famous film festival as a living advertisement and a promotional showcase. Allowing the rich and famous who attend the festival to borrow the designer gowns and jewellery has almost certainly become a part of the Cannes tradition.
It does make you wonder if a real life “John Robie” is practicing his craft at the festival that must house more money than some third world countries have in their treasuries. If not, perhaps the local police know a retired “cat burglar” (like Robie in the film) who can help them to catch a thief.
Unfortunately the local police were not available to make a statement on the latest theft, perhaps they are looking for a Cary Grant look-a-like to help them with their investigations.
By Michael Smith