Audacious heist at Paris hotel baffles police

The Ritz Hotel in Paris has formerly housed famed guests such as Ernest Hemingway Coco Chanel and Princess Diana

The Ritz Hotel in Paris has formerly housed famed guests such as Ernest Hemingway Coco Chanel and Princess Diana

French police have now recovered all the jewels snatched from an upscale store within the hotel. She said she later saw one of the bartenders being tended to by a paramedic.

Three of the gang were detained while fleeing the scene and an AFP journalist said some roads around the hotel were sealed off by security forces following the incident. However, he dropped the satchel of loot after hitting a pedestrian in the melee, the source said.

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

Three of the gang were detained at the scene but two remained at large as of Thursday evening, a police source said.

Three of the thieves went into the hotel armed with small axes.

The Hemingway Bar is named after the American writer Ernest Hemingway, who used to drink there with friends including Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald and the actor Gary Cooper. It was the last place Princess Diana stayed before her fatal vehicle crash in a Paris tunnel, and hosts elite guests from around the world drawn to the neighbourhood.

A superior room at the hotel costs from £885 a night, while a "grand deluxe" room could set guests back £1,240.

Armed heists targeting jewelry stores are actually fairly common in the area in which the luxurious five-star hotel is located: in Place Vendôme, historical first district, right on the bank of the river Seine and next door to the ministry of justices.

Over the last few years police have kept a permanent presence in the area, but they have not deterred potential robbers.

Previously, CNN reported that a bag found at the scene of the crime in the famed luxury hotel was "likely to contain" the jewels, worth over -4 million ($4.8 million), that were stolen from the hotel, citing a spokesman for the city's public prosecutor.

Kim Kardashian West said she lost millions of dollars worth of jewellery when she was robbed at gunpoint in a Paris apartment in October 2016.

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