Terrified guests secrete in kitchen as masked men wielding axes and bayonets make off with valuables from display cases
Five masked men armed with axes and knives 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 catch three of the raiders after tasering them as they fled on foot. The remaining two escaped through a back entrance and drew 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 expose windows inside the hotel with the axes and grabbed the gems, stuffing them into luggage before leaving.
Witnesses said staff in the hotel’s Hemingway bar told startled clients to get down on the floor for safety issues as the raiders struck. Other clients seeking refuge in the inn kitchen.
” We heard a loudly noise and lots of racket in the street ,” one hotel employee 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 films were fired, and hotel guests reported determining one Ritz employee injured.
However, French police said there had been no injuries. A police officer said the exact value of the jewellery pilfer in the heist is not aware, but was thought to be” several million euros “. Le Parisien newspaper reported that the arrest believes 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 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 sang froitd , their professionalism and their speedy actions do the police proud. I am grateful to them ,” Collomb tweeted.