PARIS — Just days after thieves hit a Chanel store in London, robbers raided the stockrooms of Céline and Dior in Paris.

This story first appeared in the April 25, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.


French police confirmed today there has been a robbery at the Céline boutique on Rue François 1er and that a thief made off with cash, gaining access via Céline’s stockroom. Police could not immediately confirm the value of the heist.


The Dior venue, located on Rue Jean-Goujon behind the couture brand’s flagship on Avenue Montaigne, was hit at 6:20 a.m. Wednesday, according to a police spokesman.


Two masked men made away with a number of bags and shoes, whose value was estimated at less than 100,000 euros, or $137,516 at current exchange, a Dior official told WWD.


According to French media reports, the thieves were armed and threatened a security guard.


Europe has been seeing a rash of luxury thefts.


A police source said authorities are not aware of any link between this week’s Dior and Chanel robberies. The latter heist saw a trio of men drive a stolen Audi Q7 into the front window of Chanel’s South Kensington boutique and make away with about 26 bags worth more than 50,000 pounds, or $84,150.


It is not clear how the stolen goods are off-loaded.


“We don’t really know what happens to the merchandise,” said one London source who has been the victim of several thefts. “The police seem to think that as soon as things are stolen, they are on a boat to the Continent as they’ve never recovered much of it in the U.K.”


Paris has seen a number of high-profile jewelry heists in recent months.


In March, two robbers, wielding an ax and a shotgun, held up employees at the concept store Colette on Rue Saint-Honoré, making off with a stash of luxury watches, just a few days after jewelry thieves forced open the door of the DoDo boutique, a subsidiary of Pomellato, owned by Kering, on the same street.


Also in March, two men held up the nearby de Grisogono store, stealing several items of jewelry, while in December, thieves made away with luxury watches believed to be worth about 800,000 euros, or $1.1 million, from a store belonging to Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet.


In October, perpetrators stole timepieces worth an estimated 1 million euros, or $1.4 million, from the Vacheron Constantin boutique on Rue de la Paix, and a dramatic heist in September, in which a gang rammed a car into the window of a jewelry store on Rue de Castiglione before setting fire to the car and making off with several bags of jewelry in a second vehicle, still remains unsolved.


According to statistics from the French National Institute for Advanced Studies in Security and Justice, robberies in all categories are on the rise in France and have been rising since 2008. Those targeting commercial venues were up 4.1 percent in 2013 compared with the previous year, while burglaries at private homes were up 7 percent in the same period.

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