Real Thieves are No Fun

on July 29, 2013 in Misc

I want to move to Europe and become a famous jewel thief. Wanna know why?

Because apparently it’s FREAKING EASY TO STEAL MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF WORTH JEWELS THERE AND GET AWAY WITH IT!

And if on the off chance you do get caught and sent to prison, no worries because… YOU CAN ESCAPE AND GO STEAL MORE JEWERLY!

I am not making this up.

What I have made up in the past, while contemplating potential novels, are complicated stories of stolen antiquities, thieves (or Layla) delicately slipping past alarms in the dark of night, shady colleagues providing heist tools and know-how and protection.

I mean, those are common story lines in thrillers and mysteries, right? And countless movies have shown us elaborate heist plots.  But you know what? They’re all hokum.

You might remember how I’ve ranted before about this topic.  But the reason I’m ranting again is because not only has another super-easy super theft just been committed in Europe, it was a massive jewel heist in the same hotel where Alfred Hitchcock set his classic To Catch a Thief movie.  The one with debonair Cary Grant as the suspected cat thief, and how he romances a bejeweled Grace Kelly and is in a death-defying chase across rooftops.

Here’s the real-life plot:

On the morning of July 28, a man with a handgun entered the exclusive Carlton InterContinental Hotel along the French Riviera, went to its exhibition of jewelry that was being watched by some security guards, and ran out with several bags of jewels and watches estimated to be worth $50 million dollars.

End of story.

By the way, the police are speculating that the thief is a member of the notorious “Pink Panther” gang (notice the movie connection).  Why?  Not only because the gang has stolen an estimated $436 million dollars worth of jewelry on a few continents since 1999, but three members have escaped from three Swiss prisons in the last three months.  Easy peasy escapes.  In the latest one, accomplices rammed the prison gates with two vehicles, overpowered guards with bursts from their AK-47s, then fled with the escapees in one of the vehicles.

Sigh.  Why do we writers bother making up complicated stories when reality can be so plain and simple?  Seriously, this is one more reason for me to give up writing.  There’s just too much of a disconnect with reality.

8 Responses to “Real Thieves are No Fun”

  1. You’re right – we need to go on a jewelry heist spree in Europe.

  2. Helena says:

    Alex – I bet we could both use a few million dollars.

  3. I’m writing about a jewelry thief right now. Sort of.

  4. Helena says:

    Carol – If it’s anything like Solomon’s Compass, I’ll love it.

  5. If you and I did it though, we’d so get caught. LOL. It’s amazing that jewels have such enormous value. I saw the NBC report they did on this and they talked to some ladies about their jewels that were on display. One necklace was worth a half million dollars alone. Wow. And I guess the diamond in the crown jewels that the Queen of England sometimes wears is priceless.

    Did you see the real life story of the Maharaja in India that died of depression following his son’s death and supposedly left his entire state to some greedy undeserving servants? It turns out that the Will was forged and that his daughters were the rightful heirs to that vast fortune. They finally got justice almost a decade or two later.

    That’s another example of how real life is better than any fiction plot.

  6. Helena says:

    Michael – Such extreme wealth and underworld crimes are foreign to us normal folks, aren’t they? Me, I could never endanger the lives or even the employment of some poor schmuck security guards. But steal the jewelry of some undeserving crooked bad people? I’ve got no moral problem with that. Not that it’ll ever happen…

  7. Holy cow — I had no idea it was that easy. But I’d have to get a gun first, I guess. Don’t think I’d be able to go even that far.

  8. Helena says:

    Milo – Since he never fired the gun, you could probably use a realistic-looking toy pistol.