A woman who witnessed armed robbers storm into the Ritz Hotel in Paris to steal items with millions of pounds has described her “total panic” as it unfolded.
Five thieves made their way into the luxury hotel on Wednesday evening and took £4.16 million worth of jewels in the brazen heist.
The woman who witnessed the shocking events, who only gave her first name, Jennifer, was in the hotel’s Hemingway bar at the time.
She said: “I saw hooded men with guns, and then my only aim was getting out of there. So I left through the bar. I escaped. I ran and ran.
“I found myself in the basement of the Ritz and then I continued to run without knowing how to get around.
“I didn’t know what had happened. I thought it was an attack.”
Most popular on Yahoo News UK
Driver faces £5,000 fine after ploughing through 20ft puddle to soak mum with pram
Woman who confessed to killing and burying man believed to be her father is charged with murder
Jet Airways hostess is arrested for ‘smuggling $500,000 from India under her shoes and make-up’
M25 rapist Antoni Imiela given seven life sentences referred to parole board
A police spokesman said that no one was injured in the robbery at about 6.30pm on Wednesday.
He said that three robbers were arrested and the other two got away.
The officer would not confirm reports that jewels were stolen from a hotel shop or that the robbers were armed with hatchets.
The three suspects were arrested near the chic Place Vendome in central Paris but none of the jewels or other items have been recovered so far.
The robbers appeared to have entered the Reza jewellery store through a side street entrance, smashed display cases and taken the valuables. The store also opens into the five-star Hotel Ritz.
Two people were inside the store at the time and alerted police.
Several high-end Paris jewellery stores have been targets of dramatic robberies in recent years, including Cartier, Harry Winston and Chopard.
Kim Kardashian West lost millions of dollars worth of jewellery when she was robbed at gunpoint in a Paris apartment in October 2016.
The Ritz was an especially luxurious target. The 19th century hotel, which reopened in 2016 after a four-year renovation, has housed such famous names as Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel.
It was the last place Princess Diana stayed before her fatal car crash and is popular with elite guests from around the world.