Real Life Bling Ring Hits Cannes: Red-Carpet Bound Jewels Heisted at Film Fest

While Sofia Coppola's new movie "The Bling Ring" premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, some real life jewel thieves have been taking advantage of the pricey baubles on display at the prestigious film festival.

A selection of jewelry belonging to Chopard, the exclusive Swiss jewelry design house, was stolen on Thursday evening from Suite Novotel Cannes Centre, a hotel located in the Cannes business district. An American Chopard employee was looking after the jewels; however, while the valuables had been locked in a safe, Cannes police are reporting the entire safe was heisted from the hotel. Authorities believe that the robbery may be an inside job, and employees of the hotel are being questioned.

Chopard has been a longtime supporter of the famous film festival on the French Riviera. They've been among the event's sponsors for sixteen years, and designed the Palme d'Or trophy, the coveted award for best film. Chopard has a team of forty employees at Cannes who work with celebrities to help them look their best on the red carpet and at public events; Julianne Moore, Cindy Crawford, and Cara Delevingne were all wearing jewels loaned to them by Chopard at Cannes this week. Chopard also hosted a lunch celebrating the launch of the festival earlier this week, with Oscar-winning French star Marion Cotillard on hand.

However, according to a statement released to the press by Chopard, none of the items stolen Thursday were part of the collection worn the stars. If the thieves were hoping their haul had a celebrity connection, they're out of luck. Chopard also insists that while initial press reports said the missing jewelry was worth $1.4 million, the actual value is significantly lower.

One of Chopard's vice presidents, Caroline Scheufele, says the company works directly with stars and their stylists to give celebrities the perfect look. "The Americans are so organized," Scheufele said. "They know what dress they're wearing months before and they tell us how their hair will be. The Europeans are much cooler about the whole thing. They don't have an entourage around them. Things can change at the last minute."

As coincidence would have it, Coppola's "The Bling Ring" was making its debut at Cannes the same evening the robbery took place. The film stars Emma Watson as a member of a group of teenage thieves who steal jewelry, clothes, and accessories from the homes of wealthy celebrities.