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$25M in stolen Harry Winston jewels found

March 9, 2011 12:16:22 AM PST
French investigators found $25 million worth of jewels in a Paris sewer, and they're believed to be part of the spectacular Harry Winston Paris boutique heist from 2008.

The jewels found on Tuesday were hidden in a plastic container, set in cement inside the sewer under a home belonging to one of the suspects. Nineteen rings and three sets of earrings were dug up from a drain.

Thieves stole more than $80 million worth of jewels on Dec. 5, 2008, as people walked past unaware on Paris' famed Champs-Elysees Avenue.

Police recovered some of the items when they arrested nine suspects six months after the audacious crime.

Among those charged was the heist's suspected mastermind, who had been sentenced to 15 years in prison in a drug trafficking case.

A guard at the Harry Winston boutique put police on the trail of the suspects. When investigators learned that an Israeli was expected in Paris to buy some of the stolen jewels, police moved in to make the arrests.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.