Tag Archives: Justin Bieber

Recent (and Insane) Jewelry & Cash Heists

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This has been quite a year in the world of high stakes jewelry heists.  All over the globe, from right here in NYC’s Diamond District to the luxury boutiques of London to Thai airports to Mom ‘n Pop Shops in the Midwest, jewel thieves have been striking with reckless abandon.  The caliber of gem pilferers have ranged from highly successful and calculating posses, like the infamous Pink Panthers, to renegade solo stealers, like a particular femme fatale who has been on quite the tear as of late – and is currently wanted in several US states.

What has lead to this dramatic increase in dangerous, violent and unfortunately lucrative jewel crimes?  Are these new age criminals utilizing technology to figure out the security patterns of jewelry stores with deadly precision, and seeing this as a way to make ‘easy money?’  Have international economic woes contributed to people seeking innovative and coincidentally illegal methods for obtaining cash?  Is it somehow Trump’s fault??  Not ruling out any of these options, it really is hard to say with any certain degree of accuracy what is the true root cause.  One thing is for sure; many of these elite larcenies have been hair-raising, to say the least.  Here we take a look at some of the more jaw-dropping-ly fascinating tales of jewel and dough poaching that have occurred over the last few years.

Diamonds of Anarchy 

London’s Brent Cross Mall, 2012.  A fairly standard autumn morning in homogenized British shopping.  Then…half a dozen masked (helmeted) motorcycle men (presumably from Hades) rode INTO a jewelry store on the second floor of the shopping complex and proceeded to wreak havoc.  They smashed the jewelry containers with bats and axes and grabbed whatever they could carry in their avaricious mitts.  Riding two to a bike, the loot snatchers jumped back on their partners’ backs and blazed out of there to freedom.  After all was said and stolen, 3.1 million dollars in Rolex and Cartier watches, along with sundry loose diamonds and gems (and even a few sale items) were gone forever.  All the police were able to turn up in the ensuing investigation were the motorcycles themselves, which had been stolen and were left abandoned in a golf course not far from the mall.  The motorcycle gang, or “club” as Jax Teller would say, remain at large to this day.

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Couldn’t Belieb their Own Eyes 

In May of 2013, a truly pop-tastic heist occurred.  Technically, no jewelry was stolen, but the amount of plundered cash (half a mil) is enough to raise an eyebrow or two.  More importantly, is the venue where this caper went down: FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Thousands of adoring fans were rocking out to arguably one of the greatest musical talents of our time – heck, of EVER.  That’s right; the Bieb.  While the concert raged on, and many a tween girl wept with hormonally confused ecstasy, a cadre of supplemental security guards (hired just for this epic event) were chainsawing or exploding or god-only-knows-what-ing a two foot concrete floor which gave way to where all the cash from the night’s revelry was stored.  The thieves then high tailed it out of there before the final, haunting refrain of “If I Was Your Boyfriend” was even sung.

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Cannes Not Believe this Happened 

When one thinks of the city of Cannes, nestled on the coast of the French Riviera, images of film festival opulence and extravagant vacations come to mind.  A lone dude in a “baseball cap and scarf” toting a handgun who is somehow able to steal 136 million dollars in gems, watches and baguettes from the extra fancy Carlton International Hotel is probably not what you would picture.  However, that is precisely what went down in 2013 at the famed location.  The reason all these valuables were just hanging around the hotel was because Lev Avnerovich Leviev, an Israelite with billions of shekels to his name, had them on display there, in a “private salon.”  Too bad the paltry guards assigned to watch said watches and jewels were not trained to deal with an actual robbery (also, they had no guns themselves).  So, the solitary fellow strolled over with his pistol, politely asked for the goods and said “au revoir.”  Ironic twist: this hotel is where Hitchcock’s 1955 hit “To Catch a Thief” was filmed.

…This thief has not been caught.

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Putting Seniors to Work 

This past May, London’s premier jewelry district, Hatton Garden (a name befitting a location out of “Great Expectations”) felt a little bit of a squeeze.  One of the area’s  “safest” safety deposit vaults was expertly invaded and drained of 300 million dollars worth of jewels and pounds.  Aside from the staggeringly high amount of quid that was snatched, what makes this case so intriguing is the age of the robbers.  The youngest man, out of the nine suspects, was 48, and the most senior was 76.  They tunneled their way into the vault, carving out a perfectly cylindrical hole just wide enough to fit presumably the thinnest member of the elder gang.  Ultimately, all nine of the thieves were apprehended, which confirms the theory that older people may have the wisdom to pull off a heist of this magnitude, but probably aren’t that particularly great at running away from the police.

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One Bold Babe

The Eastern Seaboard has very recently fallen prey to one daring and dazzling dame.  The unidentified woman has hit three states thus far: South Carolina, Georgia and Florida (appears this larcenous lady has an affinity for beachy locales).  In all of the accounts, she has allegedly overpowered all the workers, zip-tied ‘em up and made off with thousands of dollars in jewels.  The FBI has stepped in and vows to take immediate action (but if anything can be learned from watching the ‘X-Files,’ it’s that the FBI is not always adept at getting to the truth…even if it really is out there).  Surveillance footage of the woman depicts a tough and attractive individual (possibly similar to Gina Gershon’s character in the film “Bound”), but the police sketch of her makes her look like Carmen San Diego.

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via CNN.com
via CNN.com

Each day it seems at least one jewelry store is hit, somewhere on this vast planet of ours.  No one can say what exactly motivates these enterprising thieves (aside from the obvious: money), or if they will slow down any time soon.  All we can do is hope that no one is injured in any way in these robberies, that the victims are fully insured…and that the stories continue to be this juicy.

-Joe Leone    

A Dozen Famous Men Who Wear Diamonds

The times, they are a’changin’ – at least in the world of men’s fashion.  Long gone are the days of men being negatively scrutinized for wearing jewelry; diamond jewelry, specifically.  How have we become privy to this groundbreaking information?  Why, by looking to the famous, naturally!  Here is a compilation of just some of the dazzling dudes who are currently rocking diamond rings, bling and…other things.  Get ready: you may be surprised by some of the members included in this cadre of cool.

You may recall Arthur Rhodes, not necessarily because of how good a baseball player is, but because of the sheer brilliance of his sparkling earrings.  During one game, the fiery light that reflected off his ear adornments blinded shortstop Omar Vizquel, and sparked a huge brawl.  Now those are some eye-catching (and blinding) stones!

via seattlepi.com
via seattlepi.com

 

Style, Soccer and Spice icon, Englishman David Beckham is known for his cutting edge, trend-shaping clothes and jewelry.  He occasionally sports gigantic diamond earrings (those look like Princess cuts – perhaps an homage to the British Royal Family?)

via theguardian.com
via theguardian.com

 

Now, for the chap who single-handedly brought sexy back from wherever it was hiding.  Yes, JT (Justin Timberlake, that is).  This guy certainly knows how to showcase diamonds to the masses; he often dons excessively high carat weight stones in each lobe as he croons in falsetto to adoring female fans.

via buzzfeed.com
via buzzfeed.com

 

Catching celebrities (female or male) wearing diamond rings in public can be tricky business.  Many an enterprising young paparazzo has taken a fist to the kisser in an attempt to capture the perfect pic of just such jewelry.  No exception here: this blurry shot of Michael Bublé barely lets us sneak a mere glimpse at his diamond engagement ring.  His fiancée, Luisana Lopilato, is from Argentina, a place where men commonly wear engagement bands, and, of course, do the tango.

via examiner.com
via examiner.com

 

Maybe not every male celeb who wears diamonds should show them off as fervently as Shaun Rogers.  The New York Giant (and literal giant) loves to hit the town in his diamond earrings, studded watch, ring, bracelet and necklace with a crowned baby (totalling 500k).  Well, he did, until these items were purloined by a, ahem, “fan,” who nabbed them from his hotel room in Miami after a night of Floridian fun.  …Hope all that bling was insured (also, shame on him for losing his baby).

via yourblackworld.net
via yourblackworld.net

 

The man who brought us a touching portrayal of Ray Charles (and, lest we forget, the voluptuous and perpetually unsatisfied “Wanda” on In Living Color)  is often decked out in some serious ice.  Here’s a nice shot of the stud Jamie Foxx in his very own round brilliant ear studs.

via hollyscoop.com
via hollyscoop.com

 

Ok, everybody by now knows that Johnny Depp wears a diamond engagement ring, but have you checked out the extent of those rocks?  There is a whole lot happening on that finger of his.  Let’s just hope he doesn’t have to hock it to pay for the legal fees to keep his puppies out of jail down under (don’t worry, he won’t: he’s still got all that pirate booty he’s plundered).

via telegraph.co.uk
via telegraph.co.uk

 

Back to the baseball diamond, we find another slugger who prefers to shine in more ways than one.  Yankee fan object of hatred Manny Ramirez brought a touch of style (and melodrama) to the field when he slid headfirst into third base one night – and then realized one of his diamond studs (worth $15k) had popped out.  The game was delayed as everybody looked for the valuable piece of rock.  It was never recovered, prompting Manny to permanently stop sliding altogether (well, that’s possibly because he’s retired now).

via tampabay.com
via tampabay.com

 

Wait, how did Miley Cyrus make it on to this list??  Oh no, that’s just perpetual tween heartthrob Justin Bieber, fully swagged out in his sensational round earrings.  Here’s proof that diamonds can look great on women, men…and everything in between.

via Jason Merritt/Getty Images
via Jason Merritt/Getty Images

 

International sex symbol (and, oh yeah, “fútball” star) Cristiano Ronaldo has no qualms about parading his glittering gemstone earrings all around the globe.  He’s even been known to wear a pair featuring black diamonds, the ultimate cool stone (as determined by us, in this article).

via image4world.com
via image4world.com

 

Super talented diva Jennifer Hudson wouldn’t get engaged to just any old professional wrestler; she’d only settle for one with style, too.  Here we have David Otunga, WWE star and diamond ring enthusiast.  Looks pretty good on him, right? (even if someone does not share this opinion, the odds are in favor that they would never express it to the face of this massive gentleman)

via reuschjewelers.com
via reuschjewelers.com

 

We had to close out our list with a man who just exudes cool at every turn.  He’s portrayed a down and out financial whiz, a champion boxer, an intergalactic FBI agent…and then he saved the earth from invading aliens (actually, he did that several times).  Of course we’re talking about Will Smith, who is Hollywood’s most valuable actor (according to forbes.com, and millions of moviegoers).  Mr. Smith truly knows how to rock his rocks, flashing diamond earrings with smooth grace.  Do you know the difference between him and others who attempt this style?  He makes this look good.

via Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
via Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

 

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-Joe Leone