Terrified guests conceal in kitchen as masked men exerting axes and spears make off with helpfuls from display cases
Five masked men forearmed with axes and spears trod 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 robbers after tasering them as they fled on foot. The remaining two escaped through a back door and reached 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 reportedly crushed various presentation windows inside the inn with the axes and grabbed the gems, stuffing them into bags before leaving.
Witnesses said staff members in the hotel’s Hemingway bar told terrified clients to get down on the floor for safety issues as the raiders struck. Other guests took refuge in the hotel kitchen.
” We heard a loud racket and lots of racket in the 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 theft .”
Witnesses said at least 10 shots were fired, and hotel guests reported construing one Ritz employee injured.
However, French police said there had been no harms. A police officer said the exact significance of the jewellery stolen in the heist is not aware, but was thought to be” various millions euros “. Le Parisien newspaper reported that the three arrested supposes were well known to police.
French writer Frederic Beigbeder was among guests boozing in the Hemingway bar at the time of the two attacks. He told journalists he took refuge in the basement.
Gerard Collomb, the French interior minister, praised the police response following the arrests.” Forearmed theft at the Ritz: three of the presumed thieves already was detained by police from the 2nd arrondissement. Their talk froitd , their professionalism and their speedy reactions do the police proud. I am grateful to them ,” Collomb tweeted.