Five thieves attempted to rob the Ritz Wednesday night. They were entirely unsuccessful and botched the operation.
They “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 robbers also wore gloves and balaclavas, and several of them carried handguns, The Local France reported.
As expected, the robbery caused panic at the hotel’s Hemingway Bar. Balaclavas typically signal a reason to panic in such a luxurious environment as the Ritz, where rooms start at $1,200 a night.
The thieves attacked one of Paris’ prestigious high-end hotels with axes– the crude mode didn’t work out for them.
A police official said that three of the thieves inside threw bags of stolen goods out a window to the two outside. The three inside were then unable to escape because their exit was blocked, according to Fox News. Police arrested the three, but the two that were outside escaped by motorcycle and car.
Gerard Collomb, the interior minister, praised the police for their quick action, saying that they had “done our police force credit.”
The Ritz is one of Paris’ high-end hotels in which several luxury brands display their jewels. The thieves tried to take $5.4 million worth of jewels and watches, but everything that they took was found on scene and in a bag dropped by one of the escapees, Fox reported.
Thursday’s official close to the investigation stated that authorities recovered all of the stolen pieces after they and jewelers accounted for everything. Police are still searching for the two escapees.
The 19th century Ritz, along with Paris’ top jewelers and high-end watchmakers, is part of the Place Vendome– one of the world’s most prestigious neighborhoods. If thieves can walk into the Ritz and remove millions of dollars worth of goods with axes, then how safe are the assets housed there?
Paris police are investigating whether renovation work underway may have contributed to the lack of security, Sky News reported.
The Ritz isn’t alone. Thieves staged dramatic robberies at several Parisian jewelry stores in recent years, including Cartier and Chopard. Fox recounts:
“The Ritz was an especially luxurious target. The hotel has housed such famous names as Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel. It was the last place Princess Diana ate before her fatal car crash in a Paris tunnel, and hosts elite guests from around the world drawn to the refined neighborhood.”
The thieves gambled away their freedom in pursuing a reward of which they were unable to keep hold. Remember, kids, crime doesn’t pay.