July 31, 2013 -- Cannes police will get reinforcements from other cities after a fourth jewelry heist in recent months hit the Riviera city today.
The latest robbery occurred on the main street of Promenade de la Croisset. The store was just down the street from the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel, where a thief swiped $136 million worth of diamond jewelry on Sunday.
Today's theft involved two men wearing hats and sunglasses, and armed with an automatic pistol and a hand grenade, Cannes police officer Maurice Alibert told ABC News. An initial report said they wore hats and scarves, dress similar to the Carlton diamond thief, but Alibert said that was incorrect.
The suspects were in their 30s and spoke French, he said.
They entered the store about 10:30 a.m. and left with 40 watches, the officer said. Alibert did not say whether authorities believe both robberies were connected.
The head of Cannes police, Veronique Morindi, told ABC News the city does not have enough police and has only about 20 officers and just four or five cars on duty between 8 a.m. and noon. The force has more on the streets at night and there will be about 40 patrolling tonight, she said.
Reinforcements are expected to arrive in the French Riviera town on Thursday and will concentrate on luxury stores, she said.
The heist on Sunday ranks among the biggest jewelry thefts of all time.
Alibert said he did not believe either of heists were carried out by the Pink Panthers, a notorious and loosely knit gang of jewel thieves who have been responsible for millions of dollars worth to stolen gems over the years.
Three members of the Pink Panthers have broken out of prison in recent months.
In addition, two other Cannes jewelry thefts were carried out since this spring.