PARIS – The Chanel jewelry store on rue de la Paix was the target of armed robbers on Thursday.
A video of the robbery was first posted on Twitter. It shows four individuals dressed in black armed with assault rifles leaving the store and racing down a nearby street on two motorcycles.
Staff at a store across the street spotted the theft in progress and called the police.
“I was in the reserve downstairs. I heard my colleagues say “there is an armed robbery” on the microphone, so I went back up. Seeing the gun… the gunman across the street with a scooter and seeing what was going on inside, like a crouching woman, I knew it wasn’t a joke John, one of the store’s employees, who did not give his last name, told the press present at the scene.
“He did not use his [assault] weapon, luckily for us and bystanders,” he added, as the area around the closed store remained cordoned off by police late in the afternoon.
Sources close to the investigation said the robbery was committed around 3 p.m. by four individuals, without any shots being fired, confirming the images seen in the clip. The estimated value of stolen property is in the millions, according to early estimates, they said.
Chanel has confirmed that a robbery took place in its watch and jewelry store on rue de la Paix. “No employees or customers were harmed. We immediately set up a psychological support unit for those present,” the luxury house said in an emailed statement, adding that the value of the stolen goods does not could not be confirmed at this stage and that an investigation had been opened by the police.
The case was forwarded to the Banditry Repression Squad, a special police unit responsible for investigating armed robbery, serious burglary and fraud, car theft and theft of works of art, said the Paris prefecture on Twitter.
The targeted store is a temporary home for the luxury house’s watch and jewelry collections. Its Place Vendôme store is being renovated by architect Peter Marino and is due to reopen later this month.