Lev Leviev may have a $1.5 billion net worth (as of March 2013), but the Soviet-born Israeli diamond mogul has a $136 million problem on his hands. On Sunday, a masked robber stole that amount in jewels and bejeweled watches from a temporary exhibition of Leviev’s eponymous diamond company‘s wares at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, France.
According to the Jerusalem Post, “A man wearing gloves, with his face hidden by a scarf, burst into the hotel in the late morning and demanded to be handed several bags containing jewels and diamond-encrusted watches.” And just like that, he made off with a suitcase full of some heavy duty bling—reports estimate the stolen bounty at $53 million.
The heist, carried out in broad daylight, is believed to be one of the biggest in French history—and it’s adding to the French Riviera hotspot’s summer troubles, Forbes reports.
Cannes has been a hotbed of jewelry robberies as of late. The famed international film festival held in May had two thefts: A necklace by Swiss jeweler De Grisogono reportedly worth $2.5 million was stolen at a celebrity party; and a week earlier $1 million worth of Chopard jewels were stolen from the hotel room of an employee of the Swiss company.
For more high-stakes larcenous reading, check out Tablet literary editor David Samuel’s tale of the Pink Panthers, the notorious jewel thieves from the Balkans (one of whom, it should be noted, just escaped from prison in Switzerland).
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Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.