Pink Panther 'jewel thief' held in France

French policeman The French Riviera has seen a string of recent robberies

Related Stories

A suspected member of a gang of jewel thieves known as the Pink Panthers has been arrested in southern France.

The man has not been named but is said to be in his 40s, of Montenegrin origin. He apparently escaped earlier this year from a Swiss prison.

French police said he was arrested at his home in Montpellier, as he tried to escape through a window.

His arrest follows a string of major thefts in Cannes, in southern France, but it is not clear if there is a link.

The Pink Panthers are an international band of jewel thieves, many of whom hail from the Balkans, who are known for their daring robberies and burglaries.

They are thought to have stolen over 250m euros (£215m) of precious stones over 10 years.

The arrested suspect is a former French legionnaire.

He is said to be one of five men who broke out of the Bois-Mermet prison, near Lausanne in Switzerland, in May.

At least one other of the escapees was thought to be a member of the Pink Panthers.

Another member of the gang escaped from a Swiss prison last month.

The Pink Panthers were given their name when police in London made an arrest in 2003, and found a diamond ring hidden in a jar of face cream - a ploy used in the original Pink Panther comedies starring Peter Sellers.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories


Features & Analysis

  • An ant and a humanMass of bodies

    Do all the world's ants really weigh as much as all the humans?

  • Taxi in Mexico Freewheeling

    How I got my driving licence without taking a test

  • Tattooed person using tabletRogue ink

    People who lost their jobs because of their tattoos

  • Indian coupleSuspicious spouses

    Is your sweetheart playing away? Call Delhi's wedding detective

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • GeoguessrWhere in the world...?

    Think you are a geography expert? Test your knowledge with BBC Travel’s interactive game


  • StudentsClick Watch

    Could a new social network help tailor lessons to students’ needs and spot when they fall behind?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.