All the jewels stolen on Wednesday during a robbery at the famous Ritz Hotel in Paris were found in a bag retrieved the same day by police officers, it is being reported.
Three men between the ages of 29 and 30, from the Seine-Saint-Denis area of Paris were arrested on the spot when hotel employees triggered a security system that locked the robbers inside.
At least two others fled the scene, one on a motorcycle, and by car.
While making his escape, the motorcyclist hit a pedestrian and dropped the bag containing the stolen jewellery and watches, said a source close to the investigation who spoke to Reuters.
The drivers of the car and the motorcycle remain at large.
The three men had entered the Ritz by a service door dressed as painters, according to witnesses.
An American woman who was with her parents in the Ritz’s Hemingway bar said that she saw a man wearing a ski mask run into the hotel with a gun and heard “at least 10 rounds of gunfire” before she hid behind the bar.
Before being arrested, they were able to pass the bag of jewellery stolen from a window to people waiting outside.
Investigators are now trying to identify the drivers of the car and motorcycle and video recordings are being analyzed to determine if there were other participants.
The Paris prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into armed robbery. An ax was found on the spot and two others in the satchel abandoned by the rider. The robbers also had an alarm gun and an automatic pistol, said a source close to the investigation. The arrested men have had their custody extended by 24 hours on Thursday night.