Paris thieves grab €5m bag of jewels in tunnel raid

Tunnel du Landy Paris Image copyright Akiry
Image caption Paris's Landy Tunnel is well known for smash-and-grab raids on cars.

French police are searching for three thieves who stole a handbag containing five million euros (£3.6m; $5.4m) worth of jewels in a daring Paris raid.

The owner of the handbag, a Taiwanese art collector, was stuck in traffic in a tunnel when the thieves smashed her car window.

It was not clear whether it was a targeted attack or if the thieves simply got lucky.

The 1.3km (0.8 mile) long Landy Tunnel is notorious for smash-and-grab thefts.

Some reports suggested the jewellery collection, which included a ring worth €1.7m, was due to be donated to the Paris Museum of Modern Art but the museum later denied the claim.

The unique and numbered items would be very difficult to sell on without a specialised network, a police source told France's AFP news agency.

The source said thefts in the Landy tunnel are often the work of petty crooks.

"They aren't afraid of anything, know the area and escape through emergency exits," it added.

In February 2010, Christina Chernovetska, the daughter of the then-mayor of Kiev, fell victim to a similar robbery when a handbag containing jewels worth €4.5m was stolen from her.

The theft in Paris comes two weeks after thieves pulled off a daring heist in London's Hatton Garden, stealing jewels and other valuables from safety deposit boxes worth as much as £200m.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Akiry.

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