The questions began swirling soon after police were notified that a €750,000 (£644,000) ring had gone missing from the Ritz hotel in Paris. Was it a meticulously planned and targeted robbery? An act of carelessness? Or simply a quick swipe, carried out when the opportunity presented itself?
Two days after a Malaysian guest at the hotel reported the missing diamond ring to police, the hotel proffered an answer, albeit less exciting than many of the theories that had circulated online: the hotel said security had found the ring in the bag of a vacuum cleaner.
The newspaper Le Parisien hinted that the admission had not been enough to dispel all doubts about exactly what transpired, but the hotel said its client was delighted by the news.
“We would like to thank the staff at the Ritz Paris who mobilised for this search and who work each day with integrity and professionalism,” it told Le Parisien.
The client, described only as a Malaysian businesswoman, told police that she had left the ring on a table on Friday while she went window shopping in the city for a few hours. When she returned to the room, the ring was gone, she said.
A day after she filed the complaint, the hotel said it was still exploring all leads. Police had arrived to investigate, and prosecutors stood ready to take the case on if suspicions pointed to a top-tier burglar. “We’re talking about a colossal loss,” a source with the city’s public prosecutor told Le Parisien.
It would not have been the first time that the celebrated hotel in Place Vendôme had been hit. An unnamed member of the Saudi royal family reported the theft of jewellery worth around €800,000 from her suite in 2018, and months earlier five armed men had made off with jewels worth more than €4m from display windows inside the hotel.
The hotel did not reply to a request for comment from the Guardian.
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