July 30th, 2013
01:42 PM ET

Experts: $136 Million Jewel Heist the Work of Pros

A daring robbery at the Ritz Carton Hotel on the French Rivera is now being called the biggest jewelry heist in history.

At the setting of the iconic movie "To Catch a Thief", the plot thickens.

Authorities originally believed the thief stole $53 million worth of diamonds and jewelry, but this morning they believe it's closer to a staggering $136 million.

“It was 11:30 in the morning on Sunday when a man–his face cloaked in a scarf, his head in a cap–walked into the Carlton Hotel. He walked in through a set of doors that were normally locked.” reports CNN’s Erin McLaughlin. (WATCH TOP VIDEO)
“He then brandished his weapon and threatened to shoot both the exhibitors at this particular diamond exhibit as well as some of the passersby before loading a bag full of jewels.”

According to experts, “this has all the hallmarks of an expert jewel thief, someone who knew what they were doing,” she says.

“It’s definitely not a lone man,” says former jewel thief Larry Lawton. “It was too coordinated. They went in, and within five minutes they knew exactly where to go.” (WATCH VIDEO)

Hotels in Cannes have been struck by major robberies earlier this year, giving Lawton the impression the thief had access to hotel information.

“I think they had an inside guy, too,” he says, “whether it's a guard or whether it's a hotel employee.”

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