This is crazy. What’s next in this old timey criminal parade that these troubled economic times are bringing on? Stagecoach robberies?
WSJ: PARIS — Armed robbers — some disguised as women — snatched €85 million ($108 million) worth of diamond rings, necklaces and luxury watches from a Harry Winston boutique on a posh Paris avenue in one of the largest jewel heists in history, officials said Friday.
The gang of three or four robbers threatened about 15 employees with handguns and hit some on the head before taking the jewels from display cases from the store near the Champs-Élysées, said a police official, who was not authorised to be publicly named under agency policy.
At least two of the bandits were men wearing wigs and women’s clothes, the official said. The robbers also spoke a foreign language at times and appeared to know employees’ names when they robbed the store before it closed early Thursday at the height of Christmas shopping season.
…A security monitoring group for the French jewelry industry has reported a 20% rise in armed robberies this year over last, with 132 incidents in the first 11 months of 2008.
In London, police have reported a recent rise in holdups of security vans. Police say it could be linked to the credit crunch and predict the trend to continue as Christmas approaches.