Terrified guests hide in kitchen as masked men wielding axes and knives make off with valuables from display cases
Five masked men armed with axes and knives ambled 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 made 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 gems, substance them into luggage before leaving.
Witnesses said staff members with the hotel’s Hemingway bar told frightened guests to get down on the floor for their safety as the raiders struck. Other clients took refuge in the hotel kitchen.
” We heard a thunderou 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 robbery .”
Witnesses said at least 10 kills were fired, and inn guests reported accompanying one Ritz hire injured.
However, French police said there had been no traumata. A police officer said the exact value of the jewellery stolen in the robbery was not known, but was thought to be” several million euros “. Le Parisien newspaper was pointed out that the three arrested believes 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 talk froitd , their professionalism and their speedy actions do the police proud. I am grateful to them ,” Collomb tweeted.