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Thieves Start Distraction Fire to Rob Cartier Jewelry Store, Get in Police Shootout Anyway

A high end Cartier jewelry store in Monte Carlo was hit with a daring daylight robbery by a gang of thieves who started a fire nearby to distract police while they made off with millions in jewels. But the gang and police ended up in a shootout despite the distraction plan.

The whole affair sent tourists running and hiding in surrounding shops and buildings as the gang set a fire in the famed tunnel often seen as part of Monaco’s annual grand prix race. Then, after police and firemen arrived to put out the fire, the three thieves broke into the Cartier store near the casino and made their get away, The Daily Mail reports.

But despite the plan, police were not left completely flat footed and gunfire erupted between officers and the thieves.

One crook was cut down immediately and a second was captured. But a third thief got away and a dragnet has been launched to find him.

No one else was injured during the incident and no initial tally of stolen items has been released.

Dramatic video of police hunting for the robbers was circulated on Twitter.

Also, a car was later found on fire and police speculate that it may have been the getaway car.

The small principality on the French Riviera has been the site of many heists over the years.

Last December a Serbian national tried to rob the casino’s jewelry store and for a time got away with several million dollars worth of merchandise. He was later captured and awaits trial. In another case, a group of ex-soldiers from the Balkans calling themselves the “Pink Panthers” have struck the area several times. The group took their name from the 1963 movie starring Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.

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