PARIS — About 15 gunmen ambushed two vans carrying jewels worth millions on a French highway in the dead of night, ejecting their drivers and speeding off into the Burgundy countryside, police said. It was the latest of several big jewelry heists in France.

Unusually this time, the attackers chose a moving target instead of one of France’s many high-end jewelry boutiques. To pull it off, experts said, the gang must have been tightly organized and well-informed, possibly thanks to an inside source with knowledge of the vans’ movements.

The assailants and the jewels remained missing Wednesday evening, even after gendarmes and other authorities spent hours combing the forests and towns southeast of Paris around the scene of the overnight attack.

The vans were slowing down to approach a tollbooth on the A6 highway connecting Paris and Lyon when four cars apparently surrounded them and forced them to stop, a security official said. No one was injured, and the drivers of the two vans were left at the scene unharmed, a police official said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be publicly named.

The perpetrators then escaped in four cars and the two vans, which police later found burned and abandoned about 30 miles away. Forensic investigators examined the area around the charred vans Wednesday amid vineyards in the town of Quenne.

Alain Bauer, a professor of criminology, said the heist did not appear to fit the pattern of attacks by the Pink Panthers gang of jewel thieves.