A group of thieves struck the Bulgari store on the Place Vendôme in Paris on Tuesday, making off with about €10m (£8.6m) in jewellery after leading police on a high-speed chase that saw two of the suspects captured, sources told AFP.
Three individuals, wearing sharp suits and armed with guns, robbed the recently revamped boutique on the Place Vendôme in central Paris, where the Ritz hotel is located, shortly before midday, police said.
The three fled in a grey BMW while four accomplices took flight on scooters. Police fired shots at the car near the Les Halles shopping mall, less than 2 km (1.2 miles) away, forcing the trio to try to flee on foot.
“Quick reaction by Paris police after a jewellery store robbery at Place Vendôme. Two suspects in custody,” the Paris police said on Twitter. A manhunt was under way for the remaining suspects.
A source close to the inquiry said the thieves grabbed jewels worth €10m from Bulgari, the famed Italian jeweller that is part of the French luxury conglomerate LVMH.
Jewellery stores in Paris have suffered a spate of armed robberies in recent months, and crime and security are likely to feature heavily among voters’ main concerns in the 2022 presidential election.
On 27 July, a man stole €2m-worth of jewels from a Chaumet boutique before escaping on an electric scooter. He was arrested the next day with an accomplice, and most of the items were recovered.
Three days later two men armed with an electric shock gun and teargas targeted a Dinh Van store, seizing about €400,000-worth of loot.
The Bulgari store recently underwent extensive renovations, expanded to open on to the Place Vendôme and outfitted with marble columns evoking the brand’s origins in Rome.
The historic Place Vendôme is regarded as the heart of French luxury. Labels including Chanel, Boucheron and Van Cleef & Arpels have invested considerably in prestigious stores lining the square.