updated 07/29/2013 AT 2:35 PM ET
•originally published 07/29/2013 AT 2:30 PM ET
Wearing a scarf to mask his face, the gunman held up at least three security guards and then fled the luxury Cannes hotel roughly a minute later with $136 million in diamond jewelry.
The simple, speedy theft is the biggest jewelry heist in years.
Police had previously said Sunday’s theft at the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel had netted $53 million worth of treasure – even at that level, a major haul. Reached by the Associated Press, Philippe Vique, an assistant prosecutor in the Riviera town of Grasse, said the Dubai-based organizer of the diamond show had since raised the value based on a more complete inventory.
Vique described a canny, but quick and logistically simple, break-in. The suspect somehow got in through the hotel’s locked French doors, which open onto Cannes’s famed Croisette promenade, then held up the participants of the show with a handgun and fled on foot. The hold-up itself took about a minute, all with three private security guards, two vendors and a manager of the sale-exhibit on hand, he said.
No customers were present at the time.
“He took a bag containing a briefcase and a small box, and then fled by another French door on the inside,” Vique said. “He left on foot … it was very fast.”