Terrified guests hide in kitchen as masked men wielding axes and knives make off with valuables from display cases
Five masked men forearmed with axes and bayonets moved into the Ritz hotel in central Paris on Wednesday and left shortly afterwards with an estimated EUR4. 5 million worth of jewels.
French police on patrol outside the five-star hotel caught three of the raiders after tasering them as they fled on foot. The remaining two escaped through a back entrance and moved their getaway on a scooter.
Detectives say the men entered the Ritz on rue Cambon, near the Place Vendome, at around 6.30 pm. They reportedly crushed several spectacle windows inside the hotel with the axes and grabbed the jewels, stuffing them into containers before leaving.
Witnesses said staff in the hotel’s Hemingway bar told frightened clients to get down on the flooring for their safety as the raiders impress. Other clients seeking refuge in the hotel kitchen.
” We discover a thunderou interference and lots of racket in the street ,” one inn employee told AFP.” Passers-by took refuge in the hotel. We didn’t know what was going on until someone told us there had been a robbery .”
Witnesses said at least 10 kills got fired, and inn guests reported ascertaining one Ritz employee injured.
However, French police said there had been no harms. A police officer said the exact value of the jewellery steal in the heist was not known, but was thought to be” several million euros “. Le Parisien newspaper was pointed out that the arrest suspects were well known to police.
French writer Frederic Beigbeder was among guests drinking in the Hemingway bar at the time of the attack. He told journalists he took refuge in the basement.
Gerard Collomb, the French home minister, praised the police response following the arrests.” Armed robbery at the Ritz: three of the presumed thieves already arrested by police from the 2nd arrondissement. Their sing froitd , their professionalism and their quick actions do the police proud. I am grateful to them ,” Collomb tweeted.