Gang dropped jewels after Ritz robbery

Gang dropped jewels after Ritz robbery

A gang of five armed robbers launched a spectacular raid on the world famous Ritz hotel in Paris Wednesday, making off with an estimated four million euros worth of jewels, investigators said.

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In December, a man was able to substitute two diamonds and two rings worth 5.5 million euros in a jewellery store replacing them with fakes. The motorcyclist dropped a bag containing jewels and hatchets when his motorcycle hit a pedestrian during his escape.

The other man made off in a auto that was found burnt out 15 hours after the raid in the outer northern suburbs about 12...

Three of the thieves were arrested soon after the Wednesday evening robbery in the chic, well-policed neighborhood of central Paris. Police extended their custody for a further 24 hours on Thursday night.

The heist took place about 6:30 p.m.

It was the last place Princess Diana stayed before her fatal auto crash in a Paris tunnel, and hosts elite guests from around the world who prize the refined neighbourhood.

The hotel was bought in 1979 by Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed, whose son Dodi was also killed in the fatal crash.

Wednesday's robbery took place 18 months after the Ritz's palatial doors were re-opened to guests following almost four years of renovations and a massive fire.

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Three suspects inside threw bags of goods out a window to at least two accomplices outside, according to a police official.

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

The hotel's management has declined to comment on the robbery.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb praised officers for quickly apprehending three of the robbers, saying they had "done our police force credit".

But the audacious strike at one of Paris's most glamorous hotels could cast a cloud over the Ritz's image.

This is the latest in a string of high-profile heists in the French capital. In 2014, armed raids on the Place Vendome saw jewels worth hundreds of thousands of euros were stolen.

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

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