Armed robbers hit Chanel jewelry store in Paris and flee on motorbike

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

The robbery took place during daylight hours in the Place Vendôme area of ​​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 a thief with what appears to be an automatic weapon outside the Chanel boutique on rue de la Paix. Seconds later, three other thieves – dressed in black and wearing helmets – burst out of the store holding bags and the four rushed onto two motorbikes.

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

Chanel said no one was hurt and he was working with the 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 undergoes a refurbishment before reopening in the weeks to come.

Jewelers in Paris have suffered a wave of armed robberies in recent months.

In September, Paris police arrested three suspected armed robbers after they opened fire on their car as they escaped from a 10 million euro ($12 million) jewelry robbery at a Bulgari store in Place Vendôme, in the center of Paris, where the Ritz hotel is located.

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

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