43 timepieces stolen from Israel found in French bank vaults

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israeli police say a joint investigation with French colleagues has uncovered 43 watches and clocks stolen from a Jerusalem museum 25 years ago in a legendary heist.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says the items were found in two French bank vaults. He says they will be transferred to Israel in the coming weeks.

French police officials did not immediately comment on the announcement Wednesday.
The items were among 106 timepieces worth millions of dollars that disappeared from the L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem in 1983.

The theft was the costliest in Israel’s history. More than 40 other items were recovered before the latest discovery.

Israeli police traced the heist back to a notorious thief who fled the country and died in the U.S. in 2004.


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