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Paris police find $25 million worth of jewelry in sewer

by Jorge Hernandez on March 9, 2011

On December 4, 2008, four armed burglars entered a high-end jewelry store on the Champ-Elysees in Paris. In broad daylight, the group proceeded to commit what would come to be known as the Winston heist. They made off with almost $100 million in gems, and the entire operation took no more than 15 minutes, according to Sky News.

Many of the valuables were still missing until now, when Paris Police found a $25 million stash of nineteen rings and three pairs of earrings cemented into the rain outlet of one of the crook's homes. One pair of earrings was worth around $8.3 million.

Police had already recovered nearly a million dollars worth of stolen valuables at the house where the jewels were found.

Other treasures had been recovered in June 2009, when police were sorting through suspects, making a total of 25 arrests before charging nine with the crime – the mastermind of the crime had already been arrested and sentenced to 15 years for drug trafficking.

Police initially suspected that Serbian mobsters had committed the deed, but it appears that the heist had been performed by local Parisian criminal gangs, according to Bloomberg.

While this may have been one of Paris' worst robberies in recent decades, one of the worst in history was committed last May, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

A masked man entered the Paris Museum of Modern Art and stole five original paintings, including a Picasso and a Matisse. In total, they were estimated to be worth around $120 million.

The man broke the padlock of a gate, entered through a reinforced window and completely disabled a security system.

The paintings have yet to be recovered and the odds aren't good – one art investigator told the news provider that only around 5 percent of stolen artwork is eventually found.

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