Axe-wielding thieves in $6.6m heist at famed Paris hotel

Two of the gang managed to escape out of the back of the hotel and were spotted running away before mounting mopeds

Armed robbers launched a spectacular raid on the world-famous Ritz hotel in Paris yesterday (Jan 10), making off with an estimated four million euros (B153.33mn) worth of jewels, the latest in a string of high-profile heists in the French capital.

Up to five men reportedly stormed the hotel with axes at around 6:30pm local time Wednesday, with three of the raiders arrested by police soon after.

Two suspected thieves are still on the run, according to a police source, who added that the value of the items taken was "several million euros".

"World famous jewellers display their jewellery at the Ritz", a police spokesman told Sky News.

TV station BFM said the jewels were worth €4.7m (£4.16m).

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Three men were arrested as the robbery was interrupted by police officers on patrol, while the other two escaped on a scooter, media reports quoted police source as saying.

"We heard a loud noise and lots of racket in the street", one hotel employee told AFP. It remains unclear if any of the jewellery has been recovered.

Princess Diana famously dined at the hotel with Dodi al Fayed before they both died in a tragic vehicle accident in the Pont de l'Alma underpass.

Place Vendome, where the Ritz is based, is also home to the Ministry of Justice.

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