Terrified clients conceal in kitchen as masked men wielding axes and knives make off with valuables from display cases
Five masked men armed with axes and bayonets marched 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 absconded on foot. The remaining two escaped through a back entrance and established 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 apparently crushed several spectacle windows inside the hotel with the axes and grabbed the jewels, substance them into suitcases before leaving.
Witnesses said staff in the hotel’s Hemingway bar told frightened guests to get down on the storey for their safety as the robbers struck. Other guests took refuge in the hotel kitchen.
” We discover a raucou noise and lots of racket in the street ,” one inn 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 robbery .”
Witnesses said at least 10 shoots were fired, and hotel clients reported witnessing one Ritz hire injured.
However, French police said there had been no hurts. A police officer said the exact value of the jewellery slip in the heist was not known, but was thought to be” various billion euro “. Le Parisien newspaper received information that the three arrested supposes 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 interior 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 speedy actions do the police proud. I am grateful to them ,” Collomb tweeted.