Monday, 17 December, 2018

Police hunt for suspects after botched Ritz robbery in Paris

All jewels stolen in brazen Paris Ritz robbery recovered French police hunt two men after Ritz jewellery heist
Kenny Thornton | 12 January, 2018, 16:10

No one was injured in the robbery, but terrified guests reported being told to "get down" as shots rang out.

French police found a bag dropped by one of the five robbers containing the $5.62 million worth of jewels stolen from the five-star Paris hotel on Wednesday night.

Workers cleaned up shattered glass Thursday morning and started to fix damage from the robbery in one of the world's most prestigious neighborhoods.

Three men were arrested as they tried to flee by the way they came in with bags of gems and watches worth over 4 million euros ($4.8 million) but came up against locked doors.

The perpetrators "entered by the service entrance, smashed the jewelry stands, grabbed jewels that were clearly expensive with the help of axes", said Jean-Michel Huguet of police union Alliance Police Nationale.

The motorcyclist, however, dropped one satchel after hitting a pedestrian in a melee fleeing the scene.

An official close to the investigation said Thursday night that all the stolen goods have been recovered, after authorities and jewelers carefully examined the contents of the bag and debris and found everything had been accounted for.

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Three suspects are in police custody and will continue to be held for an extended 24 hours, a judicial source told CNN.

Three of the group, all aged in their 30s, were arrested at the hotel, while two others are believed to have fled by auto and motorbike.

The getaway vehicle was found about 20 kms (12 miles) north of Paris in an area where the three arrested came from.

Police say some of the jewels stolen from the Ritz Hotel in Paris have been found but that two thieves are still on the run.

Several high-end Paris jewellery stores have been targets of dramatic robberies in recent years, including Cartier, Harry Winston and Chopard.

Witnesses at the hotel's Hemingway Bar saw the robbery unfold.

It was at the Ritz that Diana, Princess of Wales, spent her last night in 1997 before the vehicle crash that killed her and her lover Dodi Fayed, al-Fayed's son.

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