Terrified guests hide in kitchen as masked men wielding axes and bayonets make off with priceless from display cases
Five masked men forearmed with axes and spears went 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 capture three of the robbers after tasering them as they absconded on foot. The remaining two escaped through a back entrance and realized 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 various exhibition windows inside the hotel with the axes and grabbed the gems, substance them into handbags before leaving.
Witnesses said staff in the hotel’s Hemingway bar told panicked guests to get down on the storey for their security as the raiders struck. Other guests seeking refuge in the inn kitchen.
” We heard a loudly noise and lots of racket in wall 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 shots were fired, and inn guests reported ascertaining one Ritz hire injured.
However, French police said there had been no harms. A police officer said the exact value of the jewellery stolen in the robbery had not been aware, but was thought to be” various million euros “. Le Parisien newspaper was pointed out that the three arrested suspects were well known to police.
French writer Frederic Beigbeder was among clients 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 talk froitd , their professionalism and their quick actions do the police proud. I am grateful to them ,” Collomb tweeted.