Ritz robbery: Jewellery worth millions stolen from hotel in Paris
Five men wearing ski masks armed with guns and hatchets smashed the display windows
Police car parked outside the Ritz luxury hotel in Pari after an armed robbery on Wednesday. Photograph: Samson Thomas/Afp/Getty Images
Five men wearing ski masks and gloves and armed with hand guns and hatchets surged into the Ritz Hotel on the Place Vendôme in central Paris around 6.30pm in Paris on Wednesday.
They attacked a display window containing jewellery in the hall, scooped up gems worth an estimated €4.5 million, and fled. Police said the amount could be revised upward.No one was hurt.
Police stationed on the square arrested three of the robbers when they ran outside. Two others managed to escape. Some witnesses said one man was on foot and the other on a motor cycle. Others said they fled in the same vehicle. They were still at large on Wednesday night.
Famous jewellers from the area use the display windows inside Paris’s most famous hotel to attract the Ritz’s wealthy clients.
The area has been targeted repeatedly by jewel thieves. Security was stepped up considerably after several jewellery shops on the Place Vendôme were robbed in 2014. Thieves used the same method, breaking thick glass with hatchets, at a jewellery shop in the adjacent rue de la Paix last May.
In October 2016, US celebrity Kim Kardashian was robbed of between $5 and $10 million worth of jewels in her suite in a private hotel in the rue Tronchet, a few blocks away from the Ritz.
The French writer Frédéric Beigbeder was having a drink in the Hemingway bar at the back of the ground floor when the robbery took place. He told Le Figaro newspaper that the hotel was surprisingly calm. He and other clients hid in the basement.
BFMTV interviewed a liveried doorman who said that frightened passersby and clients from the Ritz took refuge in his hotel.