Jewellery worth €4.5m stolen during armed heist at Ritz Paris hotel

  • Jewellery worth €4.5m stolen during armed heist at Ritz Paris hotel

Jewellery worth €4.5m stolen during armed heist at Ritz Paris hotel

Axe-wielding robbers have stormed the Ritz hotel in Paris in a dramatic raid to steal an estimated £4.2 million in jewellery.

Image: The robbery happened at the Ritz Hotel in Paris.

Three of the robbers were arrested after the smash-and-grab, but two remain on the run, a police official said.

French media said the three were seasoned criminals, well known to police.

The publication is reporting that three of the five men have been arrested, though it is unclear as to whether the jewels have been recovered.

Two people were inside the store at the time and alerted police.

The Ritz-Carlton is known as one of the most luxurious hotels in the world and was the place where Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed dined on 31 August 1997, shortly before they died in a vehicle crash.

According to AFP, a hotel employee said: "We heard a loud noise and lots of racket in the street". French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb tweeted his praise of the French authorities for the swift and professional handling of the situation.

'There were initial fears that a terrorist attack was going on, but it soon became clear that it was a robbery.

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

The hotel was bought in 1979 by Mohamed Al-Fayed, whose son Dodi was also killed in the fatal crash. In 2016, two armed thieves stole over €6 million worth of jewellery from the store Chopard in Place Vendôme. It was at the Paris Ritz that Diana, Princess of Wales, dined with Fayed's son, Dodi, the night before they died in a vehicle crash in August 1997.

Several luxury brands display their jewels in the storied Ritz, famous as the lodging of choice for Coco Chanel and Ernest Hemingway as well as Princess Diana, who stayed there before her death in a vehicle crash in a Paris tunnel in 1997.