Terrified guests obscure in kitchen as masked men wielding axes and knives make off with invaluables from display cases
Five masked men armed with axes and bayonets strolled into the Ritz hotel in center Paris on Wednesday and left shortly afterwards with an estimated EUR4. 5 million merit of jewels.
French police on patrol outside the five-star inn caught three of the robbers after tasering them as they absconded on foot. The abiding two escaped through a back door and attained their getaway on a scooter.
Detectives say the men had participated in the Ritz on rue Cambon, near the Place Vendome, at around 6.30 pm. They apparently smashed various exhibition windows inside the inn with the axes and grabbed the pearls, stuffing them into luggage before leaving.
Witnesses said staff members of the hotel’s Hemingway bar told terrified clients to get down on the storey for their safety as the raiders struck. Other guests took refuge in the inn kitchen.
” We listened a loud interference and lots of racket in wall street ,” one hotel hire told AFP.” Passers-by took refuge in the inn. We didn’t know what was going on until someone told us there had been a burglary .”
Witnesses said at least 10 shots were fired, and inn guests reported identifying one Ritz employee injured.
However, French police said there had been no harms. A police officer said the exact quality of the jewellery stolen in the robbery was not known, but was thought to be” several millions euros “. Le Parisien newspaper reported that the three arrested doubts were well known to police.
French writer Frederic Beigbeder was among clients sucking 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 crime at the Ritz: three of the presumed thieves already arrested by police from the 2nd arrondissement. Their sang froitd , their professionalism and their speedy reactions do the police proud. I am grateful to them ,” Collomb tweeted.