Armed robbers seize jewellery worth millions from Ritz, Paris

At least five axe-and-pistol wielding robbers mounted a raid on the storied hotel and made off with an estimated worth of more than €4 million

(Photo: Forbes)
(Photo: Forbes)

Armed robbers seized millions of euros worth of merchandise from a jewellery shop at the Ritz hotel in Paris.

At least five axe-and-pistol wielding robbers mounted a raid on the storied hotel and made off with an estimated worth of more than €4million.

Witnesses described 'total panic' breaking out and some reported hearing gunshots as the men raided the display cases in the hotel's Reza jewellery shop. 
Three men have been arrested, police said, while others remain on the run. It is not yet clear if any of the loot was recovered.

‘The attackers then used axes to smash open reinforced glass cases containing jewellery, while filling bags,’ said a source at the world famous hotel, which is in Place Vendome (Vendome Square).

‘As they tried to get away, police officers arrived, and three of the robbers were pulled to the ground and then arrested.

Paris is notorious for high-end armed robberies, with many taking place around five-star palace hotels such as the Ritz. 
The five-star Ritz is located in Place Vendôme, in Paris' historical first district on the right bank of the river Seine. The ministry of justice lies next door.

The hotel includes a gallery shopping area near its rear entrance, which it says hosts five shops and 95 "showcases", selling jewellery, watches and luxury clothing.

Local newspaper Le Parisien, citing a police source, reports that the robbery was interrupted by an officer on patrol, but two people escaped on a motorised scooter.

The city's police commissioner issued a statement on Twitter thanking officers for their quick reactions, which led to the arrest of three men.

Interior Minister Gérard Collomb also offered praise, saying they were "a credit to our police".

Eyewitnesses reported a heavy police presence in the area.

One hotel employee told the AFP news agency: "We heard a loud noise and lots of racket in the street".

"Passers-by took refuge in the hotel. We didn't know what was going on until someone told us there had been a robbery."

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