Thieves hijacked two trucks carrying $9.5 million in jewels on a French highway

TruckScreen grab BBCThe charred remains of the trucks were found some distance away by police.

About 15 armed assailants hijacked two trucks carrying $US9.5 million worth of jewels on a French highway Wednesday, according to police.

No one was injured in the attack on the A6 highway connecting Paris and Lyon, and the drivers of the two vans were left at the scene unharmed, a police official said.

The perpetrators escaped in four cars and the two vans, which police found burned and abandoned in a forest near the site of the attack, the official said. The jewels remain missing.

Map franceGoogle Maps/Amanda Macias/Business Insider.The heist began southeast of Auxerre in the town Avallon, the trucks were found burned in Quenne. Auxerre is approximately 45 minutes south of Paris.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorised to be publicly named.

In November, two gunmen robbed a Cartier jewelry boutique in a tony and tourist-filled Paris neighbourhood, fled police in a chase across the Seine River, took a hostage — and then surrendered.

In 2013, the Cannes Film Festival was hit by two high-profile thefts. First, a gunman walked into a jewel show at the Carlton International Hotel, stole $US136 million in loot, and disappeared down a side street. Then, two armed men made off with a haul of luxury watches on the same promenade.

Last month, eight people were convicted in connection with one of the most spectacular jewel thefts in recent French history at a Harry Winston boutique in Paris. In the 2008 hold-up, three cross-dressing gunmen stole about $US92 million in goods.

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