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Paris smash-and-grab thieves snatch luxury haul from Russian tourists

News Desk

Agence France-Presse

Bobigny, France  /  Wed, September 5, 2018  /  03:31 pm
Paris smash-and-grab thieves snatch luxury haul from Russian tourists

Two policemen stand on the empty Parvis des Droits de l'Homme esplanade in Paris on July 14, 2018 near the Eiffel Tower, few hours before the traditional Bastille day fireworks. (AFP/Zakaria Abdelkafi)

Three Russian tourists were robbed of thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry and luxury clothing shortly after landing at a Paris airport for private jets, police sources told AFP on Tuesday.

The tourists were in a taxi leaving the Bourget airport north of Paris at around 10:30 pm (0830 GMT) on Monday when they were struck by a car carrying four people wearing ski masks, the sources said.

The thieves made off with three suitcases that the victims said contained items worth $500,000 to $1 million (430,000 to 864,000 euros). Nobody was injured.

Hit-and-run as well as "snatching" robberies targeting taxis and other cars heading to and from Paris airports have become a common tactic in recent years by thieves hoping to strike big-spending tourists.

On April 15, 2015, three thieves made off with a handbag containing four million euros worth of Chanel jewels in a smash-and-grab attack on a taxi carrying a Taiwanese art collector.

Read also: Tips for staying safe while traveling overseas this summer

In February, 2017, a Russia couple were robbed of jewellery and luxury goods worth some 100,000 euros when their chauffeur-driven car was forced off the road by robbers near Le Bourget airport.

In March, 14 youths suspected of carrying out 88 such attacks over little more than a year were arrested by French police.

Chinese tourists staying in hotels near the capital's two main airports, Charles de Gaulle-Roissy and Orly, are often targeted in particular given their reputation for carrying large amounts of cash.

The Bourget airport serves only corporate and private jets favoured by wealthy travellers.

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