Chanel: the Avenue Montaigne boutique held up in the early hours of the morning

At dawn on Monday June 9, a gang of criminals used a battering ram to smash the windows of the Chanel store on Avenue Montaigne. They escaped with their goods, leaving the police in their wake. A previous robbery had taken place nearby in mid-May at the Harry Winston jewelry store. The amount of the loot was not made public yet.


Chanel is definitely making the headlines…but not always in the right column.


After the very recent announcement of the departure of its artistic director Virginie Viard, the Maison de la rue Cambon, the victim of a robbery in a Parisian boutique, appears this Monday June 10 in the news columns.


Is this to be seen as the vengeful face of the Fashion Victims who have been multiplying their diatribes on social networks against Chanel’s recent price increases? More simply, we can imagine that the various media exposures of the House with the two Cs may have inspired increasingly audacious criminals attracted by the lucrative potential of luxury…


Lightning attack


The Chanel boutique at 51 avenue Montaigne, in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, was the scene of a blitzkrieg worthy of a crime movie in the early hours of Monday June 10.



It was only around 5 a.m. when a sturdy Range Rover SUV, transformed into a ram car, rammed into the store window. The break-in enabled five criminals to break in and steal goods worth an as yet unknown sum in just a few minutes.


They then set fire to the SUV before climbing into another, much faster vehicle, an Audi S4.


This large car, with its tinted windows and illegible registration, enabled them to lose the anti-crime squad in pursuit within minutes. The criminals, who had been driving the wrong way with their lights off, vanished at Porte de Saint-Cloud.


Flagrante investigation


The Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office has announced that a flagrante delicto investigation has been opened by the brigade de répression du banditisme on charges of “theft by organized gang, destruction/damage by dangerous means by organized gang, participation in an association of criminals with a view to preparing a crime, aggravated refusal to comply”. Damage and prejudice are currently being assessed.


Chanel declined to comment.


Bis repetita Avenue Montaigne


This is the second time in less than a month that Avenue Montaigne has been the scene of an extraordinary theft. Last Saturday, May 18, a few dozen meters from the Chanel boutique, the Harry Winston jewelry store had already been the object of a lightning robbery, with a different modus operandi. And that was on a Saturday, in broad daylight, late morning….


Three hooded thieves turned their guns on the sales clerks and ransacked several of the store’s windows, taking away jewelry worth an estimated 6 to 10 million euros, according to a source close to the case.


The thieves then fled on motorcycles, using their weapons to force the pursuing police officers to abandon their pursuit.


An investigation was handed over to the Brigade de répression du banditisme of the Paris Judicial Police.


In May 2016, the Chanel boutique on Avenue Montaigne had already been robbed. In the space of 2 minutes, the criminals had taken some fifteen watches and jewelry in the colors of the luxury House, for a total of 2.2 million euros. Caught, seven men were sentenced in January 2022 by the Paris Assize Court to prison terms ranging from 2 to 16 years.


The Balmain affair


At the end of 2023, another high-profile case in the luxury goods ecosystem, and its epilogue in 2024, caused a stir.


On September 16, nearly 150 parcels from luxury brands, including pieces from the Balmain collection destined for Fashion Week, which began nine days later, were stolen from the van of a DHL subcontractor. After ramming the vehicle with a sedan at the exit of the Roissy-en-France hub, and then dislodging the driver, hooded thieves made off with the van and its container.


Last April and March, four men involved in the robbery were sentenced by the Bobigny Criminal Court to various penalties, ranging from an electronic bracelet to 18 months’ imprisonment. These sentences were deemed too lenient by the public prosecutor, who requested five and six years’ imprisonment and appealed against the sentences. Despite suspicions of complicity on the part of the prosecutor in charge of the case, the driver was acquitted.


Strong media coverage


Balmain, whose moral and material prejudice had been evaluated at around 645,000 euros, had worked day and night, along with its suppliers, to present the collections of Olivier Rousteing, the House’s artistic director, on D-Day.


This atypical event and the ensuing lawsuit received extensive press coverage. But this type of media coverage clearly seems to inspire criminals less than posts on social networks or articles in the press…


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Featured Photo: Chanel boutique at avenue Montaigne, before the robbery on June 9th, 2024 © Google Street View

Picture of Sophie Michentef
Sophie Michentef
Sophie Michentef has worked for more than 30 years in the professional press. For fifteen years, she managed the French and international editorial staff of the Journal du Textile. She now puts her press, textile, fashion, and luxury expertise at the service of newspapers, professional organizations, and companies.

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