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This week, celebrities are the most riveting sight on the Riviera, and they are bejeweled by the biggest baubles. All that bling turned out to be an irresistible target for thieves, as actors and actresses at the Cannes film festival discovered last night, when under cover of darkness, those diamonds disappeared
A jewelry heist on the French Riviera? Sounds just like the plot of Hitchcock's 1955 classic "To Catch A Thief." But the jewelry company Chopard says the thief is no Cary Grant, managing to make off with less than $1 million worth of jewelry - small potatoes when you're talking diamonds in 2013.
"An employee of the Chopard house has been a victim of a robbery last night," Chopard spokeswoman Raffaella Rossiello. "There is currently a police investigation underway."
"They're definitely not passing through a lot of hands along the way, so they're very, very secure, as they travel. We make sure that we have accountability every step of the way," said Wendy Adeler, VP marketing philanthropy, of Adeler Jewelers.
Jewelers bring diamonds to Cannes, because the advertisement on famous necks, wrists, and earlobes translates into big bucks for jewelry companies.
Wendy Adeler said when her father, jeweler Jorge Adler, started loaning his pieces to celebrities to wear on the red carpet, sales by real people spiked.
"It sort of helps to showcase your design on a larger scale, and a larger audience," she said.
While the investigation in Cannes continues, French police say the thief swiped the safe - unscrewed from the wall in a hotel room - sometime between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m., during prime party time during the week-long film festival.
Perhaps the thief took advantage of the night's hot premiere of "The Bling Ring" by director Sofia Coppola. The film is about - you guessed - a jewelry heist, and debuted within hours of the real-life lift. It was life imitating art imitating life on the movie world's most glamorous stage.
Police said whoever did it had to have inside information about where the jewels were being stored and there was likely more than one person involved.