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Armed jewel thieves take hostage and lead police on chase through Paris

The two gunmen later surrendered.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Champs-Elysees via Shutterstock

TWO GUNMEN ROBBED a Cartier jewellery boutique in an upmarket tourist-filled Paris neighbourhood, fled police in a chase across the Seine River, took a hostage — and then surrendered, authorities said.

The drama in the French capital sent heads turning from the Champs-Elysees shopping district to the southern neighbourhood where the gunmen holed up in a hair salon. Police cordoned off a large area during a nearly two-hour standoff, and a helicopter circled.

Two armed assailants first targeted the jewellery boutique, then fled as police tried to stop them, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

They dragged a woman from the boutique at gunpoint, then let her go outside, said witness Julien Reabourg, who works in a bar across the street.

He told The Associated Press

I got my clients away from the window in order to avoid stray bullets going left and right that could hit one of them. So we went to the back of the bar and after we could hear gunfire.

The gunmen fled across town on a scooter. When their scooter fell, “they rushed into the first shop they could find and they took the manager of this hair salon hostage,” said Philippe Goujoun, mayor of Paris 15th arrondissement, or district.

The merchant was later safely released after negotiations with police, the Interior Ministry said. The gunmen surrendered and the stolen jewels were recovered, it said.

The identities of the gunmen and the woman they briefly took hostage were not immediately released.

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