PARIS/January 10, 2018 (AP)(STL.News) — Armed thieves entered the luxury Ritz Hotel in Paris and stole valuable jewels and other goods from a hotel boutique Wednesday, officials said, carrying out an unusually brazen heist in one of the world’s most prestigious neighborhoods.
Three suspects were quickly arrested near the chic Place Vendome in central Paris, but at least two others got away, according to a police official. No one was injured.
None of the jewels or other items has been recovered so far, said an official familiar with the investigation. Both officials were not authorized to be publicly named.
French media estimated the stolen merchandise goods as worth at least 4.5 million euros ($5.4 million.) Police could not confirm the sum or reports that the thieves were armed with hatchets.
They appeared to have entered the Reza jewelry store through a side street entrance, smashed display cases there and taken the valuables, one of the officials told The Associated Press. The store also opens into the five-star Hotel Ritz.
Two people were inside the store at the time and alerted police, according to the official, who was not authorized to be publicly named speaking about the investigation.
Several high-end Paris jewelry stores have been targets of dramatic robberies in recent years, including Cartier, Harry Winston and Chopard. Kim Kardashian West lost millions of dollars’ worth of jewelry when she was robbed at gunpoint in a Paris apartment in October 2016.
The Ritz was an especially luxurious target. The 19th century hotel, which reopened in 2016 after an extensive four-year renovation, has housed such famous names as Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel.
It was the last place Princess Diana stayed before her fatal car crash and hosts elite guests from around the world who prize the refined neighborhood.