Jewel Thief Escapes from Swiss Prison

A Bosnian thief, a member of the notorious Pink Panther gang of thieves, is a gang’s third member to successfully escape a prison in Switzerland since May.

The Pink Panther gang made up of members from the area are jewel thieves and the latest escape took place this week.

The thief, Milan Poparic, who is 34, was in prison serving a sentence of six years for a jewelry heist in 2009 of a store in Neuchatel, Switzerland. He is the third member of the gang to escape over the past two months from prisons in the country.

News agencies said the gang was given its name after police in Britain found a diamond ring that had been stolen, in a tub with face cream.

It was similar to one of the scenes from The Pink Panther a comedy film from 1963 that starred Peter Sellers, who played Inspector Clouseau the bungling law enforcement authority who tracked down criminals.

Thursday’s prison break took place, said police, when two of Poparic’s accomplices rammed a gate in the prison, which is in Orbe a town in the western part of the country. The accomplices then opened fire on the prison guards at the same time inmates were outside.

The attack took place around 7:35 in the evening when inmates are free to be in the exercise area. No injuries were reported after the escape.

Adrian Albrecht, an inmate at the prison, is currently serving a sentence of seven years for a number of crimes, also was able to escape with the Bosnian. Albrecht, who is 52, previously escaped from the same prison back in 1992, reported a local newspaper.

The newspaper in Switzerland said outside accomplices, who were driving commercial vehicles were able to breach the prison’s front gates and push through rows of barbed wire and were then able to reach the area the inmates were confined in.

At that time, the accomplices took ladders from their commercial vehicles and the two inmates were able to scale the mesh inner lining and barbed wire barriers to reach their freedom.