Friday, March 16, 2018

Avallon Tollbooth Ambush and Temis HBJO Armored Truck Diamond Heist


Summary: Fifteen Avallon tollbooth and Temis HBJO armored truck diamond heist perpetrators had minutes to hide with multi-million euro hauls March 10-11, 2015.


French police found the armored trucks which were ambushed March 2015 by Avallon tollbooth diamond heisters; heisters used a mechanical digger to cut open the roof for access to jewelled cargo: WTOP @WTOP via Twitter tweet March 11, 2015

Fifteen men accomplished the Avallon tollbooth ambush outside Auxerre in the Burgundy wine-growing region of central-east France just before, and the Temis HBJO armored truck diamond heist after, midnight March 10, 2015.
The Avallon tollbooth in the Yonne department brought two sets of drivers in two Temis HBJO armored trucks a brief break from A6 national highway traffic. Fifteen men in dark clothes and ski masks and with automatic pistols and Kalachnikov-style rifles caught up with the armored truck drivers at the rest area. Cindy Bonnaud, Willem van de Kraats and Nicolas Ruiz for L'Yonne Républicaine March 11, 2015, described them as driving one Mercedes, two BMWs and two vans.
The Avallon tollbooth ambush ended within minutes of Temis HBJO armored truck diamond heist perpetrators exiting after extracting €9.2 million ($9.7 million) in jewels and timepieces.

Police found one motorist and four armored truck drivers "indemnes mais choquées" ("unharmed but in shock") and two burned, gutted trucks in Chablis vineyards outside Quenne.
Temis HBJO armored truck diamond heist perpetrators gashed a truck roof guarding "bijoux, diamants et objets d'art" ("jewels, diamonds and art objects") with a mechanical digger. Temis HBJO handles secure transport of "Horlogerie, Bijouterie, Joaillerie et Orfèvrerie" ("timepieces, jewels, precious stones and tableware") from company headquarters in Paris at 10 Place Vendôme. Sandrine Amiel and Laura Smith-Spark for Cable News Network March 11, 2015, indicated police identification of the mechanical digger in one of two otherwise emptied trucks.
Online news sources from the time judged the Avallon tollbooth ambush and Temis HBJO armored truck diamond heist perpetrators as "aguerris et professionels" ("battle-hardened and professional").

Eleanor Beardsley, with National Public Radio in Paris, knew of "heists by a group of jewel thieves from the Balkans known as the Pink Panther gang."
Beardsley linked the Pink Panther gang to "a series of jewel thefts that international police agency Interpol says have netted more than $350 million since 1999." Don Bilefsky for The New York Times March 11, 2015, made no mention of suspects when he mentioned Christophe Crépin as senior police official on investigations. Ambush, extraction and getaway needed a narrow time-frame between the drivers' departure from Paris March 10 and their shipment's delivery for sale in Besançon March 11.
Head-to-foot disguises and wrecked vehicles offered Avallon tollbooth ambush and Temis HBJO armored truck diamond heist perpetrators 4-plus-hour lead times over opportune, police-organized arrests and recoveries.

Online news sources from the time present plundered vehicles and punctured guardrails as prompting Yonne departmental police forces to pursue the perpetrators and their purloined haul.
Bonnaud, Ruiz and van de Kraats quoted unidentified police sources regarding the trucks' discovery outside Quenne "Peu avant 4 heures du matin" ("Just before 4 a.m."). They reconstructed the perpetrators rejoining A6's Paris-bound lanes outside Nitry and running a service barrier near Saint-Cyr-les Colons before rushing from Yonne, Burgundy, onto local roads. They stated that Avallon and Dijon share supervision of support from Auxerre and Paris police forces, criminal investigation-specialized institutes and large-scale banditry- and organized crime-fighting offices.
What told them how, when and where to take treasures for transport to Besançon so that "Les 15 braqueurs se sont volatilisés" ("The 15 thieves vanished")?

French police found two burned getaway vans connected with the March 2015 Avallon tollbooth diamond heisters in the countryside near Quenne, Yonne department, Bourgogne-Franch-Comté, north central France: WorldNews_net @worldnews_net via Twitter tweet March 11, 2015

Acknowledgment
My special thanks to:
Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.
Image credits:
French police found the armored trucks which were ambushed March 2015 by Avallon tollbooth diamond heisters; heisters used a mechanical digger to cut open the roof for access to jewelled cargo: WTOP @WTOP via Twitter tweet March 11, 2015, @ https://twitter.com/WTOP/status/575686402806960129
French police found two burned vans connected with the March 2015 Avallon tollbooth diamond heist in the countryside near Quenne, Yonne department, Bourgogne-Franch-Comté, north central France: WorldNews_net @worldnews_net via Twitter tweet March 11, 2015, @ https://twitter.com/worldnews_net/status/575681394736820224

For further information:
Amiel, Sandrine; and Smith-Spark, Laura. 11 March 2015. "France Jewel Heist: Robbers Target Security Vans in Brazen Raid." Cable News Network > Europe > France.
Available @ https://www.cnn.com/2015/03/11/europe/france-jewelry-heist/index.html
Bilefsky, Dan. 11 March 2015. "Armed Thieves in France Steal Jewels Worth Millions." The New York Times: World > Europe.
Available @ https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/12/world/europe/armed-thieves-take-millions-in-jewels-in-robbery-near-paris.html
Marking, Havana. 2012. Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers. London UK: Roast Beef Productions.
Plottu, Pierre. 13 March 2015. "Braquage de l'A6: Seules '5 ou 6 Équipes Sont Capables de Telles Actions en France', Assure un Spécialiste." FranceSoir > Société > Faits divers.
Available @ http://www.francesoir.fr/societe-faits-divers/braquage-de-la6-seules-5-ou-6-equipes-sont-capables-de-telles-actions-en-france
van de Kraats, Willem; Bonnaud, Cindy; and Ruiz, Nicolas. 11 March 2015. "Braquage de fourgons sur l'A6: 9 millions d'euros de préjudice [Mis à jour]." L'Yonne Républicaine > Loisirs.
Available @ https://www.lyonne.fr/avallon/loisirs/france/2015/03/11/braquage-de-fourgons-sur-l-a6-9-millions-d-euros-de-prejudice-mis-a-jour_11359218.html#refresh
"Vol de bijoux sur l'A6: le plus gros braquage de fourgon depuis Musulin." BFMTV > Police Justice > Faits divers > 12/03/2015.
Available @ http://www.bfmtv.com/societe/vol-de-bijoux-sur-l-a6-le-plus-gros-braquage-de-fourgon-depuis-musulin-868600.html
WorldNews_net @worldnews_net. 11 March 2015. "Gunmen stage jewel heist on French highway." Twitter.
Available @ https://twitter.com/worldnews_net/status/575681394736820224
WTOP @WTOP. 11 March 2015. "Gunmen stage jewel heist on French highway, trigger manhunt." Twitter.
Available @ https://twitter.com/WTOP/status/575686402806960129

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