Saturday, May 30, 2009

Elite jeweller's robbed in Paris

Thieves in Paris have escaped with jewels worth more than 6m euros (£5m, $8m) after robbing a store in broad daylight on the elite Place Vendome.

The Chopard store was robbed just before 1500 (1300 GMT), police told the French news agency AFP without giving other details.

The Swiss firm Chopard is famous for supplying jewellery to stars at the Oscars and the Cannes film festival.

Place Vendome is an elegant old square known for its luxury hotels.

In December, armed robbers stole jewels worth at least 80m euros ($102m) from a store near the French capital's famous Champs-Elysees avenue.

As many as four robbers, two disguised as women, raided the Harry Winston's store and stole nearly all its valuables.

Late on Saturday afternoon, the store at No 1 Place Vendome stood closed behind iron shutters, an AFP correspondent reports.

Only some leather handbags could be seen in the window, and no trace of a robbery could be seen from the outside.

A sales assistant working in an adjacent jeweller's store said she had heard and seen nothing. "We were working," she added.

Among Chopard's commissions is the Golden Palm awarded at the Cannes festival.

Founded in 1860, the firm has branches in major cities across the world.