The Cannes jewellery heist on Saturday (28th July) is believed to have been carried out by the notorious 'Pink Panther' gang. With a beautiful setting, a controversial diamond owner and extravagant criminals this latest heist has all the qualities needed to make a great crime movie.
$53 million worth of precious gems were stolen on Sunday 28th July from a Cannes Hotel. The incident is one of the biggest heists in recent years and is definitely film fodder.
George Clooney, pictured here at the 85th Annual Oscars in Hollywood, starred in heist movie Ocean's Eleven.
The exclusive Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in Cannes was the scene of the crime and it's suspected that the "Pink Panther", a gang renowned for their 'collection' of jewels, are responsible. It definitely has all the potential to rival the plot of Ocean's Eleven or The Italian Job.
Audiences love a heist film as long as it involves a limited amount of violence and the only people who truly get hurt are the wealthy and unpleasant villains. These villains inevitably have been romantically involved with the charismatic lead criminal's love interest and are so wealthy will not miss the jewels.
Unfortunately, in reality, it doesn't quite work out as nicely. Nor are the thieves even remotely pleasant. In this instance, the thieves are rumoured to have held the hotel's staff at gun point. A police source has confirmed the heist took place around noon although further details are yet to be revealed.
The jewels' owner is however, a controversial figure, Lev Leviev is responsible for building Israeli settlements in the West Bank. A number of charities and organisations including Oxfam and UNICEF have refused to accept any donations from Leviev for his alleged involvement in these schemes.
Michael Caine, who starred in the 1969 version of The Italian Job, at the British Independent Film Awards, London in 2009.
Johanthon Sazonoff, U.S. editor for the Museum Security Network website and an expert on high-value crime said to USA Today: "it's a huge theft. Anytime you talk about a heist with many millions of dollars it turns heads and feeds the imagination."
If the Pink Panther gang, a few of whose members have escaped from prison recently, are responsible their story certainly needs to be told on-screen. They are renowned for their targeting of the rich around the world and the elaborate way in which they pull off their heists. One instance believed to be the Pink Panthers, occurred in Paris in 2008 when armed robbers wearing women's wigs and clothing stole over $100 million worth of jewellery from a Harry Winston boutique in Paris.
The jewels were on loan to the hotel so it could host a jewellery exhibit over the summer. They were intended to be displayed until August but it is unknown how many pieces remain or, indeed, what Leviev's policy will be on the matter.
Should a film be made of the heist could the cast possibly include George Clooney, Michael Cane, Brad Pitt and Mark Wahlburg? They all certainly have experience in the field.
Brad Pitt at the 65th Cannes Film Festival.