Jewels worth £70million were taken from the Parisian branch of infamous jewelers Harry Winston during an armed raid.
Late yesterday afternoon, the Parisian branch of exclusive jewelers Harry Winston was the target of one of the world’s largest ever jewel heists.
Armed robbers, two of which were reportedly in drag, made away with £70million worth of diamond rings, bracelets and necklaces after an assail described as "terribly efficient" by French police.
According to reports, four men - posing as two couples – entered the branch on Avenue Montaigne, near the Champs-Elysses, at 5.30pm on Thursday. Less than a minute later they were making their getaway on motorbikes parked outside.
The robbers threatened sales assistants and customers with sawn off shotguns and grenades and ordered 2 members of staff to fill bags with the valuable jewels on display. They also demanded that an employee open the store’s secret safe, the whereabouts of which is well hidden, leading police to believe that the robbers had access to plans of the store layout.
However, while no shots were fired the robbers did attack bystanders with the barrels of their guns.
"It was ruthless, efficient and very very quick" said a spokesman for the Parisian police.
"Luckily no one was injured in the raid and no shots were fired. Then they escaped quickly with a very, very large amount of jewellery.
"A major operation is under way to finds these men and recover the stolen items, many of which would be highly recognisable if sold on the open market."