Pink Panther jewel thief escapes from Swiss prison, Accomplices exchanged fire with guards

GENEVA (AP) - Swiss police say a member of the notorious `Pink Panther' jewel thief gang has escaped from prison.

Police say Milan Poparic fled with a fellow inmate late Thursday after two accomplices rammed a gate and fired on guards at the Orbe prison in the western canton (state) of Vaud.

The 34-year-old Bosnian national was serving a sentence of six years and eight months for robbing a jewelry store in Neuchatel, Switzerland, in 2009.

A police statement Friday said Poparic was a member of the Pink Panthers group, prime suspects in a series of thefts over the past decade.

The gang is named after the 1963 movie starring Peter Sellers as the bungling Inspector Clouseau.

Fellow inmate Adrian Albrecht was serving a seven-year prison for various crimes.

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