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Police Arrest “Pink Panther” Jewel Thieves in Spain

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Interpol says the Pink Panthers are a “loosely-aligned network of criminals believed to have carried out robberies since 1999.

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BARCELONA – Police in Spain say they have arrested five alleged members of the notorious “Pink Panther” gang of jewel thieves.

Police in Britain named the gang the “Pink Panthers” after the famed movie in which a thief steals the so-called Pink Panther jewel and hides it in a face cream jar to elude detection. In London, a diamond ring stolen in a May 2003 store robbery was hidden in a jar of face cream, and the gang’s nickname was born, an Interpol spokeswoman said by phone from the group’s headquarters in France.

Police caught the thieves Friday as they tried to make their getaway after robbing a jeweler on an upscale shopping street in Barcelona. All five thieves were of Serbian origin. Police say it took the thieves less than a minute to rob the store of jewels worth 400,000 euros ($443,000) before police caught them.

The arrests came after German police tipped their Spanish counterparts off that one of the thieves was traveling from Belgrade to Barcelona.

According to Interpol, the “Pink Panther” gang stole 334 million euros ($370 million) in jewels from 380 armed robberies between 1999 and 2015.

The Associated Press

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