Armed robbers storm Ritz hotel in Paris, snagging $5.6M in jewels

Armed thieves have stolen about $5.6 million worth of jewels during a dramatic raid at the luxurious Ritz Paris hotel, reports say.

Witnesses told the French media that five men with axes and two handguns broke through windows at a shop in the five-star hotel late Wednesday.

“The attackers then used axes to smash open reinforced glass cases containing jewelry, while filling bags,” a source told the Daily Mail.

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.

View of the luxury Ritz Paris hotel at the Place Vendome, central Paris, France, June 13, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen - D1AETJVHYHAA

The Ritz is one of Paris' most luxurious hotels.  (Reuters)

French police officials said three of the robbers were captured at the scene but two escaped on a motor scooter and made off with the jewels.

Authorities said no one was injured during the dramatic heist.

The luxurious Ritz is in Paris’ First Arrondissement, a district located principally on the Right Bank of the Seine River, and includes five shops and nearly 100 “showcases” that sell jewelry and luxury goods, BBC reported.

Several high-end Paris jewelry stores have been targets of dramatic robberies in recent years, including Cartier, Harry Winston and Chopard. Kim Kardashian West lost millions of dollars' worth of jewelry when she was robbed at gunpoint in a Paris apartment in October 2016.

The Ritz was an especially luxurious target. The 19th century hotel, which reopened in 2016 after an extensive four-year renovation, has housed such famous names as Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel. It was the last place Princess Diana stayed before her fatal car crash and hosts elite guests from around the world who prize the refined neighborhood.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.