Robbery at the Ritz: Paris police hunt for jewel thieves

13 January, 2018, 03:36 | Author: Julian Harrison
  • Five men armed with hatchets smashed the windows of the Ritz hotel in Paris&apos luxurious Place Vendome

Three people were arrested after the heist on the chic Place Vendome in central Paris, but police said at least two others escaped after the Wednesday evening robbery.

Three of the robbers were arrested at the hotel after being trapped inside when security staff locked the doors electronically, it emerged.

A gang of five armed robbers launched a spectacular raid on the world famous Ritz hotel in Paris Wednesday, making off with an estimated four million euros worth of jewels, investigators said.

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The accomplices outside fled, one on a motorcycle and another in a auto - which French media reported was found burnt out in Val-d'Oise, about 30 kilometres north of Paris.

The rest of the jewels and watches were found in a bag dropped by one of the two robbers who got away, another source said.

Police arrived on the scene during the raid, and managed to apprehend three of the five suspects.




But the audacious strike at one of Paris's most glamorous hotels could cast a cloud over the Ritz's image. It was the last place Princess Diana ate before her fatal vehicle crash in a Paris tunnel, and hosts elite guests from around the world drawn to the refined neighborhood.

The hotel, now owned by Egyptian billionaire Mohammed al-Fayed, first opened in 1898 and was the first Paris hotel to boast electricity on all floors and bathrooms that were inside rooms.

The former home of fashion designer Coco Chanel and author Marcel Proust, the Ritz was a favourite drinking hole of American writer Ernest Hemingway.

Armed heists targeting jewellery stores are not uncommon in the area, where dozens of luxury boutiques align the streets.

In December, a man was able to substitute two diamonds and two rings worth 5.5 million euros in a jewellery store replacing them with fakes.

Kim Kardashian West said she lost millions of dollars worth of jewellery when she was robbed at gunpoint in a Paris apartment in October 2016.

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