Monaco’s famous Casino Square came to a standstill over the weekend following an armed robbery on the Cartier boutique just metres from the front doors of the casino itself. Four people have now been arrested – either in the principality or in France. According to unconfirmed police reports, almost all of the jewels stolen have now been recovered.
It was in the middle of Saturday’s wet and rainy afternoon when three armed and masked men reportedly broke through the doors of Monaco’s prime Cartier boutique. It is believed that one man – along with a portion of the loot and a firearm – was immediately apprehended by police while his two cohorts temporarily managed to evade capture.
The entire Casino Square was placed under lockdown and police set up an intensive security perimeter and performed a thorough search of the area. Not long after the hold-up at the high-end jewellery store, a car was set on fire close to the scene although police are yet to confirm if the two incidents are related.
The two other men who took part in the robbery were tracked down by police later that day while a fourth man was arrested in France.
The gang behind the robbery is believed to have travelled from Vallauris near Cannes to carry out the act. Local press is reporting that police from Antibes have, over the last two days, carried out a series of searches and raids in the town, particularly in the La Zaine quartier.
More information is expected to be revealed by officials later today with a press conference due to be given mid-afternoon by the state’s General Prosecutor Jacques Dorémieux and the director for public security Richard Marangoni.
Armed robberies are pretty rare in Monaco, which has the highest police presence and largest police force per capita in the world. However, Cartier boutiques in the Côte d’Azur have been recent victims of such attacks: during the Cannes Film Festival of 2015, a trio carrying pistols entered the La Croisette store and made off with watches and jewellery totalling 17.5 million euros.