Heist suspects buckle under after bagging Davis jewels

NICE, France — Robbers emptied American tycoon Marvin Davis’ chauffered limousine of $ 10 million in jewels with ease this week. But those holding the loot bag tripped up when they failed to buckle up.

Two men holding some of the stolen goods were stopped for not fastening their seat belts, police said Wednesday.

A search of their borrowed Renault turned up the Davises’ credit cards and papers, and the suspects tipped authorities to a garbage bag under a rock in Nice where three-quarters of the gems were stashed.

On Wednesday, police said Davis and his wife, Barbara, recovered the valuables, including a 32.44-carat diamond.

In Los Angeles, however, Lee Solters, a spokesman for Davis, said the couple had retrieved only a ring and some cash. Solters, who said he spoke with Davis on Wednesday, could not explain why police and Davis’ accounts differed.

The flamboyant Davis, who made his wealth in oil and once owned 20th Century Fox, refused to take reporters’ calls at the posh Hotel du Cap in Cap d’Antibes, where he and his wife were staying.

The couple were held up Saturday by four masked gunmen who cut off the Davises’ limo from the front and rear and got away with $ 10 million in jewels and $ 50,000 in cash kept in a strongbox in the trunk. A bodyguard who had been blocked in traffic in a separate car arrived minutes after the bandits fled.

The American couple had traveled to the French Riviera after taking in the Wimbledon tennis tournament in Britain.

Still clouding their holiday was the absence of some jewels, including a gold and diamond necklace, a pair of earrings and a valuable watch, police said.

All the stolen jewels were insured, however.

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