Armed thieves rob Ritz jewelry shop

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   THEFT Armed robbers have stormed the Ritz Carlton hotel in Paris

French police arrested three of the robbers, but two are still at large.

5 thieves carrying axes raided the boutique in the luxury Ritz Hotel on Wednesday.

An official close to the investigation said on Thursday night that all the stolen jewels have been recovered, after authorities and jewellers carefully examined the contents of the bag and debris.

It is not clear whether any of the loot, estimated to be worth more than €4m ($NZ6.6m), was recovered.

The three men are from the Seine-Saint-Denis area north of Paris, and are "well known (to) the police for armed robbery, violence and receiving stolen goods", a source close to the inquiry said.

The store also opens into the five-star Hotel Ritz.

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     RAID The seized the jewellery by smashing through the windows of the hotel
FACEBOOK RAID The seized the jewellery by smashing through the windows of the hotel

The hotel is next door to France's Justice Ministry, where soldiers stand guard 24 hours a day.

Unlike the action movie, three of the five thieves were quickly caught and arrested by police the same day.

The hotel includes a shopping area near its rear entrance, which has five luxury shops and 95 "showcases' of jewellery and luxury clothing".

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb praised the responding officers for the arrests, saying they had "done our police force credit".

One eyewitness told Sky News: "My parents and I were sitting at the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz for a drink and we were about to leave when we heard shouting from the bartenders to get down. We didn't know what was going on until someone told us there had been a robbery".

Frédéric Beigbeder, a writer, was among guests drinking in the hotel's Hemingway bar who took refuge in the basement when the robbers burst in.

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