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TODAY   |  July 30, 2013

Police suspect Pink Panthers in Cannes jewel theft

Police sources and investigative journalist David Samuels, a contributor to The New Yorker, suspect that the jewel thief who got away with 72 pieces worth about $135 million was not acting alone, and are saying the theft bears some hallmarks of the notorious Pink Panther gang. NBC’s Michelle Kosinski reports.

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>>> heist that's now the largest in french history . the estimated value ballooning to $135 million. michelle kosinski is in cannes with new details on this. good morning to you.

>>> this actually might be the largest ever in the world and it makes you wonder where is that spectacular pile of jewels sitting or moving right now? and how could one gunman on foot just disappear? but you know what, police sources aren't convinced he acted completely alone and some experts think it does bare a few hallmarks of the notorious pink panther gang.

>> at the hotel where super stars stay for the cannes film festival , this time the jewels themselves were the stars on display. the gunman sunday grabbed 72 pieces in a matter of seconds, worth about $135 million. possibly the biggest jewel heist the world has ever seen.

>> and then he was out of there. through a window, to the terrace, to the crowded streets, dropping some of the jewels as he ran. from there, who knows, a motorcycle or a car or the jewels just handed off to someone else.

>>> police don't necessarily think this was a one man job. a source says there were likely others waiting. the notorious pink panther jewel theft gang has been heisting diamonds for two decades. possibly 300 robberies now worth more than half a billion dollars.

>> japan, thailand, south america , u.s.

>> and all over europe. often one well blessed man enters a store followed by one or two more. in one they used torches to melt a security coding on windows. this one cars to crash into a center. those are different than this latest one but the boldest, speeds and success.

>> it does have the hall marks. very simple. one man with a gun took two bags of stones and talks out. the real test of whether or not it was the panthers is whether or not it was the panthers. if they don't turn up, it probably was then.

>> well, now we know police do have surveillance video they're looking at. they have been watching the boa borders but no sign of the culprit or the jewels.

>> michelle kosinski in cannes and he's vowed to be here until the investigation is complete.

>> turnover every stone.

>> what would be great is