image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionFootballer Thiago Silva's home was robbed as he played a match for Paris Saint-Germain

Seven men and a woman have gone on trial over a string of thefts carried out against celebrities in Paris.

The defendants, aged between 27 and 31, are accused of targeting high-profile figures including footballer Thiago Silva in 2018 and 2019.

An estimated €4.2m (£3.6m; $5m) in jewellery and other valuable items were taken from homes in the French capital.

Stolen items were later discovered at a flat, alongside a list of potential targets and their addresses.

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How burglars targeted PSG footballers

Footballer Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting of Paris St-Germain was playing in a Uefa Champions League match against Liverpool in late November 2018, when he was robbed of valuables worth around €600,000 ($720,000, £510,000).

Less than a month later Thiago Silva – who was PSG captain at the time before moving to Chelsea – returned from a French league game to find that jewellery and watches were missing. His losses were put at €1.2m ($1.4m, £1m).

CCTV footage showed two suspects scaling a drainpipe and entering his home through a window, before carrying the stolen goods away in bags.

Other victims of the gang include French rapper Booba, TV host Patrick Sébastien, chef Jean-Pierre Vigato and a wealthy Saudi national.

Police believe the suspects climbed buildings and entered through windows in the victims' homes.

After an investigation involving phone taps, seven men were arrested in August 2019.

According to the AFP news agency, members of the group later admitted to some of the accusations, or claimed they were lookouts during the thefts. Two of the gang that targeted wealthy stars are said to have had gone by the nicknames The Cat and Bidou.

The eighth suspect, the tenant of a flat in Aubervilliers to the north of Paris where the stolen goods were found, has denied charges including receiving stolen goods and membership of a criminal organisation, AFP reports.

There have been other high-profile thefts in the city recent years, with at least three other Paris St-Germain players being burgled this year. Ángel Di María's family was targeted earlier this year, again while he was playing for his club.

In 2016, American celebrity Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint at her luxury Paris residence.

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Hotels in the city have also been raided.

In 2019, an armed gang seized jewellery and clothing worth at least €350,000 (£300,000; $390,000) during a raid on the historic Peninsula Hotel, a stone's throw from the Arc de Triomphe.

Jewels worth €4.5m were stolen from a shop at the Ritz the previous year, although they were later recovered. In 2013, an armed man stole jewels worth €40m from an exhibition at a hotel in Cannes.

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media caption'Priceless' diamond heist captured on CCTV (2019)