Robbers use Molotov cocktails in jewellery raid

A group of armed and masked robbers looted a jewellery shop in broad daylight in Milan's luxury shopping quarter on Tuesday and threw Molotov cocktails in the street, wounding two people in their escape.

Robbers use Molotov cocktails in jewellery raid
File photo of a Molotov cocktail (left): Ohto Kokko/Wikicommons. Photo of a Franck Muller watch: nicolasputz/Flickr

Wielding baseball bats and pickaxes, between six and ten men burst into the Franck Muller shop on the northern Italian city's famous Via della Spiga and smashed the glass cabinets, grabbing watches and jewellery before fleeing on foot, Italian media reported.

The shop's manager began chasing after the men, who were dressed in black and were wearing ski masks which covered their faces, but was thwarted when they threw three Molotov cocktails behind them, sparking panic and wounding two other shopkeepers on the street.

"I saw a hooded man running, he shouted 'Molotov' and then there was an enormous bang," one witness told La Repubblica, while another said: "it was crazier than a film."

A fourth unexploded cocktail was found nearby.

A 39-year-old security guard hit in the chest with a bat by one of the robbers was taken to hospital, while another man was treated for light wounds at the scene, the reports said.

"All robberies that have taken place in the luxury fashion quarter have one thing in common: the culprits have always been uncovered and identified," Interior Minister Angelo Alfano said.

"We are confident that it will the case here too," he said.

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Romanian billionaire and seven others die in Milan plane crash

A light aircraft piloted by Romanian billionaire Dan Petrescu crashed into an empty office building near Milan on Sunday, killing him, his wife and son, and all five others aboard.

Police and rescue teams outside the office building where a small plane crashed in the Milan suburb of San Donato.
Police and rescue teams outside the office building where a small plane crashed in the Milan suburb of San Donato on October 3rd. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

The single-engine Pilatus PC-12 had taken off from Milan’s Linate airport shortly after 1pm headed for Olbia in the north of the Italian island of Sardinia.

It crashed just a few minutes later into a building in San Donato Milanese, a town southeast of Milan, according to aviation agency ANSV, which has opened an investigation.

Witnesses said the plane was already in flames before it crashed into an office building undergoing renovations.

Petrescu’s 65-year-old wife, who also had French nationality, and their son Dan Stefano, 30, were killed.

Italian media identified the other passengers as entrepreneur Filippo Nascimbene, a 33-year-old from Lombardy, with his wife, young son and mother-in-law, who have French nationality.

Petrescu, 68, was one of Romania’s richest men. He headed a major construction firm and owned a string of hypermarkets and malls. He also held Germany nationality, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.

Flames engulfed the two-storey building, next to the yellow line subway terminus.

“The impact was devastating,” Carlo Cardinali, of the Milan fire brigade, told news agency Ansa.

Deputy prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano was quoted by Corriere as saying that the plane’s black box had been recovered.