Manhunt continues after Paris Ritz heist

14 January, 2018, 00:12 | Author: Courtney Perry
  • Two of the gang managed to escape out of the back of the hotel and were spotted running away before mounting mopeds

Axe-wielding robbers have made off with nearly $7 million in jewellery after a daring heist at the luxury Ritz Hotel in Paris.

A police source told Le Figaro the robbers took around 4 million euro worth of jewels.

They seized watches from display cases and then targeted an Alexandre Reza jewellery boutique inside the hotel.

Unlike the action movie, three of the five thieves were quickly caught and arrested by police the same day.

The motorcyclist, however, dropped one satchel of loot after hitting a pedestrian in a melee fleeing the scene.

One official said some of the thieves apparently had guns, but could not confirm reports that they used hatchets to smash the glass.


Gérard Collomb, French interior minister, praised the "sang-froid, professionalism and quick reactions" of the officers who detained the suspects.

The Ritz, which re-opened in 2016 after a four-year refurbishment, and is owned by the Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed.

The three men are from the Seine-Saint-Denis area north of Paris, and are "well known (to) the police for armed robbery, violence and receiving stolen goods", a source close to the inquiry said. 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 neighborhood.

Place Vendome, where the Ritz is based, is also home to the Ministry of Justice. Five men, some wearing jackets with police insignia, held her at gunpoint, making off with several pieces of gold and diamond jewellery.

A tourist told The Mirror that bartenders at the hotel's Hemingway Bar yelled at guests to "get down" as masked men smashed their way inside.

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