Armed robbery at jewelry store in the Ritz hotel in Paris

Suburban Family Witnesses Dramatic Paris Heist

A French police source said: "I can confirm that all the stolen jewels were found in the bag recovered by police officers".

The overall value of the jewels on display was estimated at about €4.5 million ($5.4 million).

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.

Three suspects are in police custody and will continue to be held for an extended 24 hours, a judicial source told CNN.

But the three, all aged about 30, were arrested after being blocked in the building.

Axe-wielding raiders entered the hotel through an unmarked side door, smashed display cases and threw bags of goods out of a window to at least two accomplices outside, say police.

A police team in charge of patrolling the square - home to some of Paris's top jewellers and watchmakers, as well as the justice ministry - was quickly on the scene.

A police official said Thursday that one perpetrator dropped a bag with jewels and hatchets when his motorcycle hit a pedestrian during his escape.

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The hotel, now owned by Egyptian billionaire Mohammed al-Fayed, first opened in 1898 and was the first Paris hotel to boast electricity on all floors and bathrooms that were inside rooms.

Armed heists targeting jewellery stores are not uncommon in the ultra chic avenues near Place Vendome square in central Paris, where the Ritz is located.

The hotel's management has declined to comment on the robbery.

Police managed to arrest three of the thieves at the scene but two escaped using a motorcycle and auto.

Place Vendome has been the scene of several heists in recent years.

The French capital's most high-profile recent jewellery theft was carried out in October 2016 against USA reality television star Kim Kardashian.

No one was injured in the heist, officials said. In 2014, armed raids on the Place Vendome saw jewels worth hundreds of thousands of euros were stolen.

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