LIVE VIDEO: WUSA 9 at 5pm    Watch
 

'Pink Panther' jewel thief escapes Swiss prison

8:17 AM, Jul 26, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

(USA TODAY) -- A Bosnian member of the notorious "Pink Panther" gang of jewel thieves has broken out of prison in Switzerland in a daring escape, Swiss police say.

Milan Poparic, 34, who was serving a six-year sentence for a 2009 jewelry store heist in Neuchatel, Switzerland, is the third gang member to escape from a Swiss prison since May.

The BBC says the gang got its name after British police found a stolen diamond ring in a tub of face cream, similar to a scene in the 1963 comedy film The Pink Panther that starred Peter Sellers as the bungling Inspector Clouseau.

In the prison break Thursday, police say two accomplices rammed a gate at the prison in Orbe in western Switzerland and opened fire on guards while inmates were outside at 7:35 p.m. for an exercise period. There were no injuries, the Associated Press reports.

Fellow inmate Adrian Albrecht, who was serving a seven-year prison for various crimes, also escaped with Poparic. Ablrecht, 52, had previously broken out of the same prison in 1952,Tribune de Geneve reports.

The Swiss newspaper says the outside accomplices, driving two commercial vehicles, breached the front gate then pushed through several rows of barbed wire to reach the area where the inmates were confined.

The accomplices then produced ladders to allow the two inmates to scale the barbed-wire and mesh inner barrier and make their escape.

Police launched a manhunt and alerted patrols at the French border 10 miles away.

Most Watched Videos