While Jean-Claude Van Damme has played the hero in movies like Universal Soldier and Street Fighter, the action star inadvertently became involved in a criminal scenario this week. While in Paris on Tuesday, the actor accidentally assisted in a jewel thief’s escape from law enforcement, as reported by TMZ.
Van Damme attracted a crowd of fans during an optometrist appointment. As people gathered to get a glimpse at the actor, a gray-haired man held up the nearby jeweler Chaumet at knifepoint, stealing precious stones and jewelry from the boutique. The man had burst into the shop on an electric scooter.
The spoils are estimated to have a value between €2 million and €3 million.
While there were plenty of potential witnesses in the area, law enforcement stated that most of the group’s attention was on Van Damme. The thief was able to make a largely inconspicuous getaway on an electric scooter.
While Van Damme’s presence may have kept witnesses distracted, surveillance cameras did capture the incident. On Wednesday morning, police detained two suspects and recovered a “substantial part” of the haul. According to Euronews, the pair were arrested after traveling by bus to Moselle, a department in the east of France close to the country’s border with Germany.
In our review of Van Damme’s new movie The Last Mercenary, IGN gave the film a 5, saying the movie has “a fun take on [JCVD’s] past exploits as an action star, but the humor is way more miss than hit.”
J. Kim Murphy is a freelance entertainment writer.
(Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)