There have been a number of robberies in France since we’ve been living here—mostly jewelry shops. However, tourists and wealthy locals have been robbed as well in Paris. A number of Chinese tourists who visit Paris have become prime targets because they appear to flaunt expensive jewelry and carry large sums of cash. Even in big groups, these Chinese tourists have been robbed of everything: cash and jewelry. Some have turned into attacks, and unfortunately it has happened more regularly that the Chinese government is demanding safety support from the French government.
Moreover, wealthy Parisians have been targeted by robbers. While we were in Paris, several kidnappings of women occurred who were stalked and taken for their jewelry and cash. No arrests were ever made at that time and I’m not sure if they ever caught the robbers.
Last week a jewelry store in Place Vendome in Paris was robbed when thieves drove a car into the store, grabbed $2 million euro worth of loot and burned the vehicle before they escaped. This summer in Cannes, France, a single gunman made off with $136 million cache. Last month, one of the bigger hotels in Nice on Promenade des Anglais, Palais de la Mediterranee, staff were threatened at gunpoint by a gang of robbers who were targeting the watches at the hotel’s jewelry boutique. And the most recent robbery that happened in Nice was just last week when a nineteen-year-old robbed a jewelry store, but he wasn’t so lucky; the jewelry owner shot the thief and the teenager wounded up dead. Now there is uproar in Nice at the moment by other jewelry store owners supporting the man who shot the robber. These owners are tired of operating in fear. They don’t think the store owner should be convicted, while the teenager’s family want justice. The government is unsure at the moment on how to proceed with the case. And the store owner is currently under house arrest.
There’s one robbery a day in France, a statement I’m repeating from the president of the union of jewelers and watchmakers. It’s unfortunate the robberies are at large and on the rise. The biggest concern for tourists, especially in Paris, is pickpocketing on the metro, at the Louvre and Eiffel Tower. But, several months ago the pickpocketing boss was arrested, so I’m not sure if this alleviated the situation in Paris. Nevertheless, like traveling to any foreign places, it’s always good to be cautious.