The three males, dressed in fits, may have handed for purchasers on the Bulgari retailer in central Paris. Armed with weapons, nonetheless, their intentions have been extra nefarious. They stole a big haul of jewels from the Italian jewellery firm.
The theft Tuesday morning occurred in the Place Vendôme, the historic sq. in Paris’s 1st arrondissement that’s recognized for its luxurious shops and has been a frequent goal for thieves. One particular person is in custody in reference to the theft, the Paris prosecutor’s workplace mentioned in an announcement. And the police are on the lookout for others concerned.
Bulgari confirmed the theft in an announcement and mentioned that nobody had been harm.
The police declined to touch upon the theft, however an officer who spoke to the media on the scene on Tuesday described a brazen heist and mentioned that after stealing the jewels, the suspects who entered the shop fled in a car, whereas 4 others took off on scooters towards the middle of town. The police stopped the car in a shootout, the officer, who recognized herself as Noura B., mentioned in a video posted by Le Parisien.
The jewellery has not but been discovered by the police, the Paris prosecutor’s workplace mentioned.
It was unclear precisely how a lot the thieves had taken, the officer in the video mentioned, including that one suspect had dropped a bag, however the quantity was estimated to be a minimum of 10 million euros, or $12 million.
Paris is not any stranger to bold thieves trying to make away with costly jewels and different luxuries. More than 2 million euros’ price of bijou was stolen in July from Chaumet, a famend French jewellery retailer in what police on the time known as a “monumental” haul. In 2008, thieves made away with a staggering $100 million price of bijou from Harry Winston.
Brazen robbers have appeared notably drawn to the luxurious designer jewellery and watch shops close to Place Vendôme, the place Bulgari counts different world high-end manufacturers equivalent to Chanel, Cartier and the Hotel Ritz Palace as neighbors. In 2014, masked robbers armed with a pump-action gun and an ax stole luxurious watches price than $645,000 from Colette.
“Place Vendôme is a sensitive place,” mentioned Jacques Morel, a safety adviser to the French affiliation of jewelers, and there had been a number of assaults in the realm. But jewellery thefts have dropped in latest years, he mentioned. About seven years in the past, there have been as much as 500 jewellery retailer assaults in France per 12 months, he mentioned. Nowadays, because of safety necessities imposed by insurance coverage corporations, that quantity is lower than 100.
“We haven’t had attacks like this in a long time,” he mentioned. Given the variety of folks seemingly concerned, the theft appeared like “amateurs rather than people from the big banditry,” he mentioned. A haul price 10 million euros was a excessive bounty, he added. “I’m a little surprised that they had access to so much jewelry in so little time.”
A particular police unit which usually offers with armed robberies, referred to as the Banditry Repression Brigade, will lead the investigation, the police mentioned on Twitter.