Police vigilence pays off

Three Italians suspected of stealing jewels and luxury products were arrested on Friday evening.

The officer on duty at the Cap d'Ail border spotted a suspicious car entering Monaco and alerted colleagues who attempted to stop it at Place d'Armes. However the driver took off through the streets of Monaco with the police in pursuit. After crashing, the driver and passengers were caught, and police recovered 3 bags containing jewels, perfume, designer clothing and digital cameras.

There have been 7 robberies in the last 2 months on the Cote d'Azur, although thankfully Monaco has so far escaped. According to President of the Chambre Monegasque de la Joaillerie et de l'Horlogerie (jewelers and clockmakers) Claude Cardone, there's been a resurgence of jewelry muggings in the South of France. With the recent increase in precious metal prices and the run up to Christmas and New year, retailers throughout the region are extra vigilant.

Director of Monaco's Surete Publique Andre Muhlberger says there's a constant dialogue with jewelers in the Principality. In addition to the 80 officers on call, anti-burglary measures have been in place for 4 years, with jewelers sending photographs of suspicious customers to the police.

However discretion is important, as the end of year celebrations account for around a quarter of annual sales for jewelers. Police advise retailers to beware of clients who hide their features, so if you're shopping for that extra special Christmas gift, leave your hoodie, cap and shades at home.

Three Italian thieves arrested after a chase in Monaco

Robberies : Monegasques jewelers are vigilant