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$25 Million in Stolen Harry Winston Gems Found in Paris Sewer

Mar 9, 2011 – 9:41 AM
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Mara Gay

Mara Gay Contributor

Police in France have recovered $25 million worth of jewelry in a Paris rain sewer, two years after they were stolen from a Harry Winston store, one of the most brazen heists in recent memory.

The gems were dug up underneath a house in Seine-Saint-Denis, just outside Paris, French police told Europe-1 radio in a statement. The thieves had stashed the jewelry, which included three pairs of earrings and 19 rings -- one of them valued at $8.3 million -- in a plastic container cased in cement and wedged into a rain sewer.

$25 million in stolen Harry Winston gems found in paris sewer
Francois Mori, AP
Stolen jewelry worth $25 million has been recovered in a Paris rain sewer after it was taken from a Harry Winston store in the city in 2008. The thieves had made off with $100 million worth of gems in total.
The gems were stolen from the high-end jeweler on Dec. 4, 2008, when at least four armed robbers, including two men dressed as women, walked into the Harry Winston store in a swanky Paris neighborhood and made off with more than $100 million worth of jewelry in broad daylight.

The entire heist took no more than 15 minutes, according to Sky News. One of the store's guards told police at the time that the thieves knew the names of the store's employees.

In June 2009, police arrested 25 people in connection with the theft, charged nine of them and recovered more than $1 million of the stolen gems. Officials say one of the men charged in the crime is the owner of the house where the jewels were found.
Filed under: World, Crime, Good News
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