‘Pink Panther’ jewel thief escapes

AFP-JIJI

A Bosnian from the “Pink Panther” gang of international jewel thieves has escaped from a Swiss prison in a dramatic break-out involving a fellow inmate and two armed accomplices.

Milan Poparic, who was serving a sentence of almost seven years for a 2009 robbery at a jewelry store, is the third “Pink Panther” to escape from a Swiss prison since May. Along with convicted Swiss kidnapper, arsonist and money-launderer Adrian Albrecht, Poparic broke out of the Orbe prison in western Switzerland on Thursday evening, local police said Friday.

During an exercise period, the accomplices rammed a gate and barbed wire with a van before using ladders to create an escape route across the prison’s fence. They set fire to the van and made off with Poparic and Albrecht in a second vehicle. Prison guards came under constant automatic weapons fire to stop them from foiling the escape, but no one was injured.