A member of the notorious 'Pink Panther' jewel thief gang escaped from a Swiss prison after accomplices rammed a gate and overpowered guards with bursts from their AK-47s, police said Friday.
Bosnian national Milan Poparic, 34, fled from the Orbe prison in the western canton of Vaud.
He is the third member of the Pink Panthers to escape from a Swiss prison in as many months, according to Vaud police.
He escaped with with fellow inmate Adrian Albrecht, 52 on Thursday.
Poparic had been serving a sentence of six years and eight months for robbing a jewellery store in the Swiss city of Neuchatel in 2009. Albrecht was serving a seven-year prison sentence for various crimes including robbery, arson and money laundering.
Police said Poparic was part of the Pink Panthers network, prime suspects in a series of spectacular thefts. According to Interpol the group has targeted luxury watch and jewelry stores in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States, netting over 330 million euros ($436 million) since 1999.
The two accomplices rammed the compound with two vehicles, clearing away barbed wire for the escape, then fled with the two escapees in one vehicle and set fire to the other.