Three in custody for Cartier robbery, suspect may have used St Paul’s Church

IMG_1552After a police manhunt that left the Principality in a state of shock late afternoon and evening on Saturday, March 25, Monaco-Matin reported on Sunday that two additional arrests were made in the Cartier robbery case. Both occurred late Saturday night, one person was arrested in Monaco and the other in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.

In all, four people have now been arrested in Monaco or in France. Three allegedly were involved in the heist and one was an accomplice. A fourth robber is still on the run.

The Cartier crew are from La Zaïne neighbourhood in Vallauris, the town close to Antibes and known for pottery and Picasso.

On Saturday, at 7 pm, Monaco’s Public Prosecutor issued a statement saying, “A robbery took place this afternoon around 3:40 pm in Monaco in the Cartier boutique at Place du Casino by three individuals, at least one of whom was armed.”

It also stated that the rapid intervention of the police forces made it possible to arrest one of the three without bloodshed and recover a weapon.

“The roadblock set up around the Principality also prevented the other two individuals and their accomplice, who was waiting for them with a vehicle from escaping. The vehicle was set on fire by the perpetrators and recovered by the police.”

“There were no shots, no injuries, and no hostages taken,” according to the statement. The staff of the boutique, shocked by the events, were given psychological support.

Father Walter Raymond of St Paul’s Monte Carlo was at a concert Saturday night and returned home to a team of inspectors treating the church Library like a crime scene, dusting for finger prints.

Father Walter told Monaco Life on Sunday, “This morning I reported to our wardens that it seems as though one or two of the fugitives made their way down avenue de Grande Bretagne, stopped at St Paul’s, climbed down the two ladders to my yard and then down to the new terrace where they broke through the plywood door covering blocking access and took refuge in the Library.” 

There has been no confirmation from the police.

As it happened Saturday March 25
5:17 pm: The luxury jewellery store Cartier at Place du Casino in Monte Carlo was reportedly robbed Saturday afternoon around 4 pm.

Gun shots were supposedly heard (although the Prosecutor’s Office would later deny any shots were fired) around the area and the two alleged suspects were seen fleeing in a vehicle.

A message from Monaco police was sent out via Facebook at 4:28 pm: “Armed and dangerous men in Monaco. Be vigilant and please don’t hesitate to contact the police.”

A source with knowledge of the case confirmed to Monaco Life at 6 pm that one of three Cartier robbery suspects has been apprehended.

Monaco’s Casino Square is currently blocked off pending investigation.

According to first reports of the afternoon by France Bleu Azur, a car fire in a Monaco tunnel was used to create a diversion. The video was posted on Facebook around 5 pm by Andrea Lapini

This video of the police investigation in the port was shot by a Monaco resident:

Article first published March 25, 2017.