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Robbers wield tear gas in Paris luxury watch raid

French police officers stand guard in front of the entrance of the building where the offices of Swiss watchmaker Girard Perregaux are located on rue de la Paix, in central Paris, following a robbery on October 20, 2016 © AFP / Bertrand Guay

Paris, France, Oct 20 – Two men made off with half a million euros’ worth of luxury watches after threatening staff at the central Paris offices of Swiss watchmaker Girard-Perregaux with tear gas, police said.

“Two men pretended to be couriers to get the door opened,” a police source said.

After threatening staff there with tear gas canisters, they escaped “with about 10 watches with an estimated value of 500,000 euros ($546,000)”, said the source.

A spokesman for Girard-Perregaux’s parent company Kering confirmed the value of the stolen watches.

In March, a Chopard jewellery store in the nearby Place Vendome was robbed of an undisclosed amount of merchandise by two men armed with a pistol and a grenade.

Security was stepped up in the chic square after a series of violent robberies there in 2014.

Both raids were in the same area that reality TV star Kim Kardashian was robbed in a luxury apartment by armed men who got away with jewellery worth around nine million euros ($10 million).

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