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All jewellery from Ritz Hotel heist ‘recovered’

Police at the scene of a robbery at the Ritz
Image: Police at the scene of a robbery at the Ritz

All the jewellery stolen from the Ritz Hotel in Paris on Wednesday has been recovered, a source close to the investigation said.

The jewels were in a bag dropped during the raid by one of the five men who carried out the heist.

According to a first estimate, the jewels were worth more than £4m and also included luxury watches.

“I can confirm that all the stolen jewels were found in the bag recovered by police officers,” the source said.

The men broke a window at the tradesman’s entrance to the famed hotel just after 6.30pm (5.30pm UK time).

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

Inside, they smashed glass display cases and removed items worth “several million euros”, throwing some of their loot from the window to two accomplices outside.

Three men, all aged around 30, were arrested moments after the alarms sounded after security guards trapped them in the building.

Two accomplices who were waiting outside remain on the run.

Police managed to recover some of the loot straight away after they were scattered about during the arrest of the three suspects, while more jewels and watches were found in a bag dropped by one of the two robbers who got away.

Police at the scene of a robbery at the Ritz

One report suggests that one of the three arrested was dressed as a builder.

The car used in the getaway was found about 12 miles north of Paris in an area where the three arrested men came from.

Police said they are “well known to the police for theft with weapons and violence”.

Witnesses at the hotel’s Hemingway Bar saw the robbery unfold.

A witness told Sky News they heard “at least 10 rounds of gunfire”.

Nik said: “My parents and I were sitting at the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz for a drink and we were about to leave when we heard shouting from the bartenders to get down.

“One man wearing a ski mask ran right from the bar door to the front, right past my father.

“He had an axe in his hand. Immediately the bartender closed and locked the door and corralled everyone to the back kitchen area of the bar.

“We heard at least 10 rounds of gunfire so everyone dove behind the bar where we stayed there for about six minutes.”

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The two accomplices escaped, one in a car, the other on a motorcycle.

A pedestrian was hit by the bike and lightly injured. The thief riding the bike dropped his loot and his weapons.

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