About 15 men, some of them with axes and sledgehammers, Friday burst into a luxury watch store in the heart of Paris in broad daylight and made off with a haul worth hundreds of thousands of euros.
Shortly before lunch, two well-dressed men entered the Vacheron Constantin store near the posh Place Vendome, where several top-end jewellers are located, and let in a third man who was armed. Six others, wearing hoods and armed with sledgehammers and axes, then followed inside, police said.
They smashed the shop windows and left with 20 watches with hefty price tags.
A single watch crafted by the Swiss luxury watch maker can sell for hundreds of thousands of euros.
Police said the goods stolen were “of a rather significant amount”.
Around six accomplices outside the showroom, just metres away from France’s justice ministry, used smoke grenades to allow those inside to make a speedy escape, police said.
They fled on foot.
Two of the men were arrested in the area and two sledgehammers and an axe were found nearby, police said.
The men were placed in custody and were from east Europe.