An armed robber stole jewelry worth 40 million euros ($53 million) Sunday from the Carlton Hotel in the southeastern French city of Cannes, police said.

The masked robber entered the hotel, where a jewelry fair was being held, just before noon and forced those inside to put the majority of the pieces in a bag.

The heist was extremely fast and the robber did not fire any shots, police said.

The jewelry, mostly diamond-encrusted watches and other pieces, belonged to Laviev, which was exhibiting them as part of the July 20-Aug. 30 "Extraordinary Diamonds" show.

The heist is the biggest in France since 2008, when robbers stole jewelry worth 80 million euros from Harry Winston in Paris. EFE