ICS Magazine

Thieves suck up jewels, make “clean” getaway

June 17, 2002
PARIS (Reuters) – June 13, 2002 - Thieves behind a rash of daring jewelery robberies in Paris have used a bewildering variety of tactics to snatch their precious haul, but the latest innovation, a vacuum cleaner, has surprised even the police.

Four men on motorcycles roared up to a jewelers in a wealthy Paris district on Wednesday morning, smashed glass display units and then used a battery-operated, hand-held vacuum cleaner to clean up.

"Using a vacuum cleaner, that was new. Thieves certainly don't lack innovation," said Patrick Mauduit, a spokesman for police officers' union Synergie Officiers.

"We'll certainly see that again. It's clever. In one swipe they sucked up jewels that usually have to be picked by hand."

The attack was the latest in a spate of armed daylight robberies on jewelers and foreign-exchange offices in the French capital that have made national headlines as much for their increased frequency as for the thieves' barefaced cheek.