Robbers strike at Berlin's famed KaDeWe store

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BERLIN (AP) — Jewelry robbers struck at Berlin's famous KaDeWe department store Saturday, smashing display cases and running off with their loot.

Four men struck at the famous luxury department store on glitzy Kurfuerstendamm avenue soon after it opened for the year's busiest Christmas shopping season, police spokeswoman Heidi Vogt said.

The robbers attacked a security officer with pepper spray, stole jewelry from several displays on the ground floor and then fled by car, Vogt said. A manhunt was underway in Berlin.

Police said several customers were also treated for pepper gas.

It was not clear how much jewelry the robbers had stolen, Vogt said.

A spokesperson for the store could not immediately be reached for comment.

KaDeWe — an abbreviation for "department store of the west" — is one of the city's top tourist destinations. It is famous for its high-end luxury items and its sixth floor gourmet department with different bistros selling everything from fresh oysters to popular Bavarian meat loaf.

The store was opened in 1907 and soon became the country's leading department store. More than 180,000 customers from all over the world visit the store every day, according to KaDeWe's homepage.

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