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Press photographers take photos through the gate of the entrance of the Harry Winston jewelry store near the Champs-Elysees in Paris, Friday Dec. 5, 2008 FRANCOIS MORI/AP/Press Association Images
Drain Robbery

€18 million worth of stolen jewellery found in a Paris drain three years after audacious heist

Thieves dressed as women held up the famous jewellery store on the Champs Elysee in a robbery that some believed was inspired by an episode of CSI:NY.

FRENCH POLICE have found jewellery worth €18 million hidden in a sewer in Paris, three years after one of the most audacious robberies in French history.

The jewels were stolen in 2008 in what the New York Times called a “brazen and meticulously planned robbery” from a store just off the Champs Elysee, involving four or five thieves – two of them dressed as women – who walked off with €80 million worth of jewels as Christmas shoppers milled around.

There was speculation at the time that the thieves might have been inspired by an episode of CSI:NY.

The BBC reports that 19 rings and three sets of earrings have been found in a plastic container set into a cement mould in the drain of a house in Seine-Saint-Denis.

Police said that the home where the jewels were found belonged to one of those charged in connection with the robbery.

Some of the stolen rings, necklaces and watches were recovered in June 2009, when 25 people – including the suspected mastermind – were arrested in connection with the robbery.

A guard at the Harry Winston boutique is said to have tipped investigators off. When police learned that an Israeli man was arriving in Paris to buy some of the stolen jewels, police moved in to make the arrests.

- Additional reporting AP