American tourists tear gassed, robbed in Paris

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Crime in Paris has become an increasingly publicized problem which is hurting the city’s international reputation as a great place to visit and shop.

The latest robbery is a nearly identical repeat of an incident which targeted Chinese visitors last August, in which black-clad criminals sprayed tear gas on a crowd of approximately 20 tourists who were waiting for shuttle buses outside the Novotel in Roissey-en-France, which is near Charles de Gaulle airport, on Saturday.

The thieves reportedly arrived in at least two vehicles and robbed the French, American and Moroccan tourists of their luggage and personal affects.

Hotels around the airport as well as the highway leading to Charles de Gaulle and private jet airport Le Bourget are frequently targeted by thieves.

A robbery in November of $5.7 million worth of jewelry and clothing was committed against people from Qatar as they left Le Bourget in a Bentley headed for Paris.

In February, thieves targeted a Russian couple on the same stretch of highway, taking approximately $113,000 worth of jewels and luxury items.

In October of 2016, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tried to defend her city’s reputation after reality TV star Kim Kardashian was targeted by armed robbers in her luxury Paris residence.

And then one month later, two Americans in possession of a large quantity of jewels and diamonds were robbed by two men as they returned to their car underneath the famous Place Vendôme; which serves as the city’s hub for luxury jewelers.

Watching their tourist numbers fall by 1.5 million in 2016, mostly due to fear over terror attacks, French officials are increasingly concerned about the impact this latest crime wave will also have on tourism.

In response, the government held an emergency meeting with security concerns on the top of their agenda. They’ve pledged approximately €15 million in their efforts to making visitors feel safer, which will reportedly fund more video surveillance in hotels on the edge of Paris.

The government also plans to institute “mobile police stations” in tourist hot spots and boost security around 30 sites, including museums.

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