PARIS — Chanel’s jewelry store on Rue de la Paix was the target of armed robbers on Thursday.
A video of the heist was first posted on Twitter. It shows four black-clad individuals armed with assault rifles leaving the store and zooming down a nearby street on two motorcycles.
Staff at a store across the street spotted the ongoing robbery and called the police.
“I was in the stockroom downstairs. I could hear my colleagues saying ‘there’s an armed robbery’ over the microphone, so I came back up. Seeing the weapon… the armed man across the street with a scooter and seeing what was happening inside, like a woman crouched down, I understood it wasn’t a joke,” John, one of the store workers, who did not give his last name, told press present at the scene.
“He didn’t make use of his [assault] weapon, fortunately for us and passersby,” he added, as the area surrounding the shuttered store remained cordoned off by police in the late afternoon.
Sources close to the investigation indicated that the robbery had been committed around 3 p.m. by four individuals, with no shots fired, confirming the images seen in the clip. The estimated value of stolen goods is in the millions, according to early estimates, they said.
Chanel confirmed a robbery had taken place at its watches and fine jewelry store on rue de la Paix. “No employees or clients were injured. We immediately set up a psychological support unit for those present,” the luxury house said in an emailed statement, adding that the value of stolen goods could not be confirmed at this stage and an investigation had been opened by the police.
The case has been referred to the brigade de répression du banditisme, a special police unit charged with investigating armed robberies, serious burglaries and scams, stolen cars and art thefts, the Paris prefecture said on Twitter.
The targeted store is a temporary home for the luxury house’s watches and jewelry collections. Its Place Vendôme store is being overhauled by architect Peter Marino and is expected to reopen later this month.