Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Robbers seize jewels worth 4 million euros from Paris' Ritz

Five men armed with hatchets smashed the windows of the Ritz hotel in Paris&apos luxurious Place Vendome Suburban Family Witnesses Dramatic Paris Heist
Ellis Copeland | 12 January, 2018, 16:09

The robbery occurred late Wednesday evening when five thieves, some armed with axes, smashed display cases at The Ritz and sent hotel guests and workers into panic.

Workers cleaned up shattered glass Thursday and started to fix damage from the robbery.

The three members of the gang who entered the hotel grabbed watches made by Rolex and Piaget from display cases before hitting a jewellery shop in the hotel.

"The loss is very high and remains to be assessed", one police source said.

But the plot began to unravel as soon as they attempted to make their getaway, with three men arrested when they came up against locked doors as they tried to flee out the back of the building.

French police said on Thursday the jewels stolen by the axe-wielding robbers were found in a bag dropped by one of the two robbers from the five-strong gang who managed to escape the scene of the crime.

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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. But thieves struck again in March 2016, when an estimated six million euros worth of jewels were stolen from luxury fashion brand Chopard by robbers who threatened employees with a gun and grenade.

An official close to the investigation said all the stolen jewels had been recovered, after authorities and jewellers carefully examined the contents of the bag and debris and found everything had been accounted for.

Parker said, "But the police arrived really quickly". Interior Minister Gérard Collomb also thanked the officers, saying the capture of the three men was "a credit to our police", the BBC reported.

The Ritz was an especially luxurious target. The hotel has housed such famous names as Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel.

It was the last place Princess Diana stayed before her fatal auto crash in a Paris tunnel, and hosts elite guests from around the world who prize the refined neighbourhood.

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