Armed men have broken a member of the so-called Pink Panther gang of jewel thieves out of a Swiss prison.
Bosnian gang member Poparic Milan escaped the jail in the Swiss canton of Vaud on Thursday night, along with another prisoner, after accomplices in two vehicles forced their way through a gate and fired at prison guards.
The Pink Panthers, who have a weakness for expensive watches, have staged about 340 robberies on luxury stores in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States since 1999, making off with booty worth more than 330 million euros (£280m), according to Interpol.
Milan, 34, had been serving a jail sentence of six years and eight months for robbing a jewellery store in Switzerland's watch-making capital Neuchatel in 2009.
Known for their spectacular heists, the gang drove two cars into a Dubai shopping mall and through the window of a jewellery store in 2007, swiping goods worth 11 million euros in a raid lasting less than a minute.
The following year the group walked away with loot worth up to 85 million euros after entering the Harry Winston jewellers in central Paris disguised as women.See also:
The Pink Panthers gained their nickname with a raid on a London branch of Graff Diamonds in 2003. A stolen diamond was found hidden in a pot of face cream, reminiscent of a scene from the 1975 film "The Return of the Pink Panther".
Remember the 2007 ($20 Mil.) Graff Jewelry Robbery? One of the Big Rocks Just Turned Up in Hong Kong
Not to be confused with the 2009 ($65Mil) Graff's robbery or the 2003 ($41Mil) job.