Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Saturday, 25 October 2008 15:08 UK

Daring $1m mid-day heist in Milan

By Mark Duff
BBC News, Milan

Pederzani's shop window
Gino Pederzani opened his shop in Milan's Via Montenapoleone in 1947

Police in Milan are investigating an unusual $1m (628,420) robbery in the heart of the Italian fashion capital.

It was, said the victim, "a masterpiece of its kind". It was certainly daring - in broad daylight and on one of Milan's swankiest shopping streets.

Staff at Pederzani's, one of the city's exclusive jewellers, thought nothing amiss when a window cleaner went to work on the plate glass display.

Dressed in regulation overalls, he propped his ladder against the window.

But then, instead of using the bucket and squeegee to clean it, he calmly unscrewed it before scooping an estimated $1m-worth of jewels into his bucket and walking off into the Friday shopping crowd.

This is not the first audacious crime to hit Milan's fashion district this year.

In February robbers tunnelled their way into another top jeweller's - escaping with almost $24m-worth of gems while its owners were away entertaining Hollywood stars at the Oscars.

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