Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

French police hunt two men after Ritz jewellery heist

French police hunt two men after Ritz jewellery heist

As the men fled the scene, one of them hit and slightly injured a pedestrian.

Five thieves carry out the heist at the luxury hotel late in the afternoon, with three arrested and two escaping with jewellery potentially worth more than $6 million, according to police.

Jean-Michel Huguet, a representative of the French police union said that the criminals had "entered by the service entrance, smashed the jewellery stands, [and] grabbed jewels that were clearly expensive with the help of axes".

Three men, all aged around 30, were arrested moments after the alarms sounded after security guards trapped them in the building.

The two accomplices escaped, one in a auto, the other on a motorcycle. They had passed a bag containing jewels and watches worth about €4 million through a window to two men waiting outside, one of whom fled with the haul on a scooter.

More jewels and watches were found in a bag dropped by one of the two robbers who got away, another source said, without being able to give an estimate for the value of the goods retrieved.

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Other jewels were found scattered amid the debris of the shattered display cases during overnight cleanup efforts, the official told The Associated Press.

Three suspects are in police custody and will continue to be held for an extended 24 hours, a judicial source told CNN.

Police say some of the jewels stolen from the Ritz Hotel in Paris have been found but that two thieves are still on the run.

Several high-end Paris jewelry stores have been targets of dramatic robberies in recent years, including Cartier, Harry Winston and Chopard.

In October 2016, reality television celebrity Kim Kardashian was the victim of a robbery just 10 minutes walk from the Ritz, in which millions of dollars' worth of jewellery was stolen from her.

Witnesses at the hotel's Hemingway Bar saw the robbery unfold. 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.

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