Nearly $1 Million in Jewels Stolen From Guest at Ritz Hotel in Paris
Burglars at the Ritz Hotel in Paris reportedly absconded with nearly $1 million worth of jewelry on Friday afternoon. The jewels were stolen from a guest of the hotel, who reports say is an unidentified Saudi princess.
Paris police told Reuters on Monday that at least $930,000 in jewelry had been stolen from the woman's suite in the hotel. She told prosecutors that the jewelry wasn't in the room's safe, and there were no signs of forced entry.
It appears that the jewel heist is the latest incident in a hotel robbery trend that has taken hold in the City of Light. Paris police have been cautioning travelers to be vigilant of wily thieves who target visitors inside their hotels, especially during the popular summer tourism season. Law enforcement officials issued warnings in July for tourists to be on the lookout for so-called "hotel rats," or gangs of thieves who slip into hotels and blend in with guests to steal their belongings.
Authorities say the thieves target Paris' popular hotel district in the 8th arrondissement, nicknamed the Golden Triangle for its upscale tourist amenities. The Ritz is located in this district on the Place Vendome. But hotels across the city and outer districts are at risk.
“They go to the big hotels in Paris, but also in neighboring towns like Courbevoie or Vincennes where tourists are also found,” Tony Mariet, an inspector with the Paris police, told Le Parisien earlier this summer. “Some of them join a group of tourists and leave with their luggage. Then there are those who reserve rooms under a fake name and go around rooms looking for safes,” Mariet said.
Although Mariet dubs the gangs of thieves "international professional criminals,” Paris police are doing what they can to stop the burglars from scamming tourists behind closed doors. Officials say they work closely with the hotels to catch thieves, and the police team responsible for hotel thefts questions about one gang of "hotel rats" each month.
TPG reached out to the Ritz Paris for more information but did not receive a response by time of publication.