The first of three Academy Awards Charlie Chaplin won has been stolen during a targeted break-in in Paris last month (Jan15).

The silent movie star's trophy, valued at over $1 million (£625,000), was taken from the offices of the Chaplin Association - the company which protects the actor's name and image.

An unnamed police source tells French newspaper Le Parisien the heist was most likely carried out by knowledgeable thieves, who also stole a set of pens, valued at around $90,000 (£60,000), that once belonged to the actor.

The insider says, "The perpetrators of the break-in targeted only those objects and nothing else. They were perfectly informed."

The Paris prosecutor's office has opened an official inquiry into the robbery, and a special police task force in charge of art thefts is leading the investigation.

The missing Oscar was given to Chaplin at the very first prizegiving in 1929, and was an honourary award in recognition of his "versatility and genius in acting, writing, directing and producing" for his film The Circus.

Chaplin was given a second honourary Oscar in 1972, and another in 1973 for his Limelight movie's score.

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