Armed robbers strike Chanel jewelry store in Paris and flee on motorbikes

Armed robbers strike Chanel jewelry store in Paris and flee on motorbikes

Thieves armed with at least one gun robbed a Chanel watch and jewelry store in central Paris on Thursday and then sped off on motorbikes, police said.

The robbery took place during the day in the Place Vendome area in central Paris, the site of another high-profile robbery last year.

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Video footage on Twitter – which Paris police said was authentic – showed one robber with what appears to be an automatic weapon outside the Chanel shop on Rue de la Paix. Seconds later, three other robbers – dressed in black and wearing helmets – stormed out of the store holding bags and the four sped off on two motorcycles.

“It all happened very quickly and unfortunately the first police officers who arrived were on bicycles,” a bystander who had filmed the event told Reuters. He declined to be identified.

Chanel said no one was injured and it was working with police. The retailer did not disclose the value of the stolen goods. Police said they have no information on the identity of the thieves.

The privately owned French luxury fashion house’s Avenue de la Paix outlet is a temporary store selling watches and jewelry, set up while the Place Vendome flagship store is undergoing a revamp ahead of a reopening in coming weeks.

Jewelry stores in Paris have suffered a spate of armed robberies in recent months.

In September, Paris police caught three suspected armed robbers after opening fire on their car as they made their getaway from a 10 million euro ($12 million) jewelry heist at a Bulgari store on Place Vendome in central Paris, where the Ritz hotel is located.

In July, thieves made off with jewelry worth almost 2 million euros ($2.4 million) from a Chaumet store near the Champs-Elysees, although the stolen goods were later recovered and the suspects arrested.