Gunfire as millions in gems stolen in raid on Paris Ritz hotel

Police in Paris are currently hunting for two armed men following this evening's raid

In a real-life version of Ocean's Eleven, axe-wielding robbers heisted more than $5 million worth of jewelry from a store the Ritz Paris hotel on Wednesday.

Three of them were tasered and arrested by police outside the hotel but two others managed get away on scooters.

The overall value of the jewels on display was estimated at about 4.5 million euros (£3.9 million).

They seized watches from display cases holding wares from Rolex and Piaget, and then targeted the Alexandre Reza jewellery boutique inside the hotel.

The three suspects were arrested near the chic Place Vendome in central Paris but none of the jewels or other items have been recovered so far.

One of the robbers, fleeing the scene on a bicycle, dropped a diamond-encrusted cross worth €30,000, which was found by a passer-by a few hours later.

Two people were inside the store at the time and alerted police, the official said.

The officer would not confirm reports that jewels were stolen from a hotel shop or that the robbers had hatchets.

Police stand in rue Cambon at the back entrance of the Ritz luxury hotel in Paris on January 10, 2018, after an armed robbery. French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb tweeted his praise of the French authorities for the swift and professional handling of the situation.

Diana, Princess of Wales, dined in the hotel's Imperial Suite shortly before her death in a vehicle crash in August 1997.

Security was stepped up in and around Place Vendôme in 2014 after a series of thefts on luxury shops and jewellers in the square, which is also home to France's ministry of justice.

A tourist told The Mirror that bartenders at the hotel's Hemingway Bar yelled at guests to "get down" as masked men smashed their way inside.

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