Armed thieves steal jewelry from Bulgari boutique in Paris


The three men, dressed in suits, could have passed themselves off as customers of the Bulgari boutique in central Paris. Armed with rifles, however, their intentions were more nefarious. They stole a large amount of jewelry from the Italian jewelry company.

The The robbery on Tuesday morning took place on Place Vendôme, the historic square in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, known for its luxury boutiques and frequently the target of thieves. One person is in detention in connection with the theft, said the Paris prosecutor’s office in a press release. And the police are looking for other people involved.

Bulgari confirmed the theft in a statement and said no one was injured.

Police declined to comment on the theft, but an officer who spoke to the media on site Tuesday described a brazen burglary and said that after stealing the jewelry, the suspects who entered the store fled in a vehicle, while four others took off on scooters towards the center of town. Police stopped the vehicle in a shootout, the officer, who identified himself as Noura B., said in a video posted by Le Parisien.

The jewelry has not yet been found by the police, said the Paris prosecutor’s office.

It was not known exactly how much the thieves took, the officer said in the video, adding that a suspect dropped a bag, but the amount was estimated to be at least 10 million euros, or $ 12 million. .

Paris is no stranger to ambitious thieves looking to get rid of expensive jewelry and other luxuries. More than 2 million euros in jewelry was stolen in july de Chaumet, a renowned French jewelry store in what the police at the time called “monumental” booty. In 2008, thieves took away a staggering $ 100 million worth of Harry Winston jewelry.

Cheeky robbers seemed particularly drawn to the luxurious designer jewelry and watch shops near Place Vendôme, where Bulgari has other high-end global brands such as Chanel, Cartier and the Ritz Palace hotel as neighbors. In 2014, masked thieves armed with pump pistols and ax stole luxury watches worth $ 645,000 from Colette.

“Place Vendôme is a sensitive place,” said Jacques Morel, a security adviser from the French association of jewelers, and there had been several attacks in the region. But jewelry thefts have declined in recent years, he said. About seven years ago, there were as many as 500 attacks on jewelry stores in France a year, he said. Nowadays, thanks to the security requirements imposed by insurance companies, that number is less than 100.

“We haven’t had attacks like this for a long time,” he said. Considering the number of people apparently involved, the theft appeared to be “amateurs rather than people of organized crime,” he said. A transport worth 10 million euros was a high premium, he added. “I’m a little surprised that they have had access to so much jewelry in such a short time.”

A special police unit that usually deals with armed robberies, known as the Banditry Suppression Squad, will investigate, police said on Twitter.

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