Though he’s still out there kicking ass on screen, it’s easy to mistakenly believe that Jean-Claude Van Damme is no longer the same, unstoppable cultural force he was decades in the past. A new story corrects this assumption, letting us know that the Muscles From Brussels still possesses enough raw magnetism that simply visiting an eye doctor can choke the streets of Paris with so many excited onlookers that his presence inadvertently helped a jewel thief escape the scene of a crime without being noticed.
According to TMZ, JCVD had stopped by an optometrist near the Champs-Elysées on Tuesday afternoon. A crowd of people gathered for an opportunity to get a glimpse of Van Damme, we assume, testing out whether different kinds of eyeglasses stay put while doing the splits.
At the same time, a man held up the nearby high-end jeweler Chaumet at knifepoint, then escaped on a green scooter with what authorities estimate was between €2 to €3 million in “precious stones and jewelry.” Euronews reports that nobody was injured in the robbery and that 2 suspects were detained in eastern France on Wednesday “alongside a ‘substantial part’ of the loot.” Still, police were aided mostly by CCTV footage of the man scootering away with his haul. They had a difficult time gathering eyewitness reports because, as TMZ writes, the crowds of people who might have helped identify the robber “were all distracted by Van Damme.”
Really, the thief is just lucky that Van Damme didn’t see what he was up to, try to stop him, and accidentally cause his head to explode with a single, well-placed roundhouse kick. Or, that nobody put on a hot jukebox track nearby that forced him into deadly, hip-swinging combat against his will.
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