Two Montenegrin men arrested for ‘mind-boggling’ £2million Paris jewel heist within 24 hours of the thief making his getaway on an e-scooter
- A 55-year-old man from Montenegro was arrested in Metz on Wednesday
- Police said an accomplice, also Montenegrin, had also been taken into custody
- The men were picked up while on a coach bound for Serbia, a police source said
- They are suspected of robbing a Chaumet store near in the Champs-Élysées
- CCTV footage showed the besuited robber escaping by e-scooter on Tuesday
A besuited armed robber who stole more than £2million worth of jewellery from a Paris store has been arrested within 24 hours of escaping on an e-scooter.
CCTV images of the man – who wore a blue face mask – were released by French police following Tuesday’s raid at a flagship Chaumet store near the Champs-Élysées.
On Thursday, officers announced that a 55-year-old Montenegrin man, who has not been named, had been caught a day earlier along with an accomplice.
‘They were both on a coach heading for Serbia, and they had the jewels with them’ said an investigating source.
‘Their bus was taking a break at a motorway service station at Longeville-lès-Saint-Avold on Wednesday, and officers from Metz moved in.’
The source said the accomplice was 44, and was also from Montenegro.
During the robbery, security staff at the Chaumet store are seen greeting the man, as ‘they thought he was a customer,’ the source said.
The guards allow the man through a bullet-proof-glass door and bring precious items to him, before he pulled out an automatic pistol.
A besuited armed robber who stole more than £2million worth of jewellery from a Paris store has been arrested within 24 hours of escaping on an e-scooter
On Thursday, officers announced that a 55-year-old Montenegrin man, who has not been named, had been caught a day earlier along with an accomplice suspected of robbing the Chaumet store
‘He also told staff that he had planted a bomb and it would go off if they told police,’ said the source.
‘Then he demanded the keys to the shop, and locked everyone inside when he left.
The pair were tracked down after police pieced together the robber’s escape through Paris following the raid, which took place at around 5pm local time.
Potential witnesses at a nearby cafe told Le Parisien they hadn’t noticed anything, having been too distracted by famous Belgian action star Jean-Claude Van Damme, who was visiting an opticians in the area.
Van Damme is in Paris for the launch of his new film and was similarly unaware of the robbery, his agent told The Telegraph, adding that the film did include an e-scooter chase however.
After leaving the Chaumet store on the Rue Francois I, the man dumped his e-scooter in Rue de Marignan.
He then entered the Gaumont Cinema on the Champs-Élysées, spent a few minutes inside, and then disappeared into the Franklin D. Roosevelt metro station.
On Thursday, Paris police said they were on their way to Metz – a city around 331km (206 miles) east of Paris – where they intended to pick up the two suspects and bring them to a cell in the French capital, where they face armed robbery charges.
Judicial sources, quoted in The Telegraph, said that ‘significant part’ of the haul had been retrieved from the suspects who were carrying it.
A source at Chaumet, which was founded as a jewellers and watchmakers in 1780 and which now has stores all over the world, later estimated the value of the loss at between ‘two and three million euros’.
The Chaumet store in the nearby Place Vendome was robbed in 2009, with the loss then valued at some £1.6million.
Chaumet, which is now owned by luxury goods multinational LVMH, had no initial official comment to make.
E-scooters, which are becoming increasingly popular in major cities and towns globally, including in the UK, have been linked to a series of crimes in Paris.
The offences range from alleged manslaughter – an Italian woman was knocked over and killed in a collision with an e-scooter last month – to street attacks and thefts.
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