01/02/2013 01:59 EST | Updated 03/04/2013 05:12 EST

Paris heist costs Apple store an estimated $1.3M

Four armed men wearing masks robbed a flagship Apple store in Paris on New Year's Eve, and reports say they made off with an estimated $1.3 million in merchandise.

The heist took place a short distance from Champs-Élysées Avenue, a popular area for New Year’s revellers, at roughly 9 p.m. ET Monday.

A police spokesperson told reporters that year-end celebrations may have served as a convenient cover.

"They were well-prepared. As the majority of police were busy watching the Champs-Élysées, the robbers took advantage of this opportunity," Christophe Crépin from the police union Unsa told reporters, adding that the men drove off in a van.

Le Parisien reported that the store was closed at the time of the break-in, and the thieves may have gained access by threatening a security guard at the back entrance.

Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutors' office, told reporters that that the men made their way through the store "calmly" and raided the basement storeroom, where unopened boxes were kept.

Local police have not yet formally confirmed the exact value of the stolen goods, something still being assessed by the store, although some reports are pegging it at $1.3 million.