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14 January 2018, 12:14 | Clyde Nash
Clement Lanot AP via CNN
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.
A masked group armed with axes, sledgehammers and guns had stormed the landmark Ritz hotel in the chic Place Vendome in central Paris.
The gems, taken by a gang of at least five men, were worth an estimated €4.5m (£4m).
French media said the three were seasoned criminals, well known to police.
The five men arrived at the hotel in Paris' luxurious Place Vendome who were armed with hatchets.
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'There were initial fears that a terrorist attack was going on, but it soon became clear that it was a robbery.
Witnesses said at least 10 shots were fired, and there are unconfirmed reports that one hotel employee was injured but this was denied by police. The 19th century hotel, which reopened in 2016 after a four-year renovation, has housed such famous names as Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel.
The Ritz Paris hotel first opened in 1898 and was the city's first hotel to boast electricity on all floors and bathrooms inside the rooms.
It was at the Ritz that Diana, Princess of Wales, spent her last night in 1997 before the vehicle crash that killed her and her lover Dodi Fayed, son of the hotel's owner Mohammed al-Fayed. It was at the Paris Ritz that Diana, Princess of Wales, dined with Fayed's son, Dodi, the night before they died in a auto crash in August 1997.
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 almost 100 "showcases" that sell jewelry and luxury goods, BBC reported.
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