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Thieves take $1m in jewels at hotel near Cannes festival

PARIS — Thieves ripped out a small safe from the wall of a hotel room near the Cannes Film Festival and fled with about $1 million worth of jewelry inside, a French police official said Friday.

Commander Bernard Mascarelli, a police spokesman for the city of Nice, said the robbery at the Novotel hotel occurred in the room of a representative of Swiss-based watch and jewelry maker Chopard.

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The crime occurred hours after the screening at Cannes of a film, based on a true story, about teens who broke into the homes of stars in Los Angeles to steal designer bags, shoes, and clothes.

The jewelry was ‘‘very probably’’ in the hotel in connection with the festival, Mascarelli said. Chopard is a festival sponsor and has loaned jewelry to A-list film stars who walk up the festival’s red carpet under the rapid-fire flashes of photographers’ cameras. This year model Carla Devigne and actress Julianne Moore walked the carpet in Chopard gems.

Mascarelli said he did not know the exact type of jewels or their exact value. ‘‘Numbers have been put forward that we’re still trying to verify, but the figure of $1 million . . . we’re in that range,’’ he said.

Jean-Michel Caillau, the prosecutor leading an inquiry, said the theft appeared to have occurred at 2:30 a.m. Friday.

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