Paris - French police have detailed their arrests of 17 individuals suspected of involvement in the robbery of reality-TV star Kim Kardashian West in Paris in October.
The French newsweekly L’Express said according to police the suspects range in age from 23 to 72 and are mostly French nationals along with some Algerians. Alleged to either have participated in the robbery, harbored stolen goods or contributed as intermediaries, the 14 men and three women remained in custody Tuesday at the headquarters of the organized-crime bureau the Brigade for the Repression of Banditry.
DNA evidence found at the scene had led investigators to a man known to the police for armed robbery. Investigators also spent weeks combing security cameras of businesses near the crime scene.
Kardashian, 36, was robbed in her apartment at the Hôtel de Pourtalès, a highly private, unmarked abode in Paris’ Madeleine district, where she was staying during Paris Fashion Week. The armed robbers, who bound her, stole jewelry valued in the millions.
A diamond pendant worth more than $30,000 was found by a passer-by in the street outside after the robbery and turned it over to police, the TV news network France 24 said. The radio network Europe 1 added that while the remaining jewelry has not been found, police searches have recovered approximately 200,000 euros, more than $211,000, in cash.
Arrests took place in Paris’ 17th and 19th arrondissement, in the suburbs of Val-de-Marne, Le Raincy and Seine-et-Marne, and on the French Riviera, according the newspaper Le Monde. Investigators also traced two suspects to Antwerp, Belgium, a major center of the diamond trade.
Most of the suspects are career criminals involved in drug trafficking, counterfeiting and other endeavors, police told Le Monde, adding that one is employed by the limousine company the Kardashians regularly use when in Paris. According to Europe 1, the 26-year-old driver denies involvement and police are examining his brother, 40, who also was arrested.
In a promotional clip released Friday for her E! reality show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” the star tearfully tells her sisters she believed the robbers were “going to shoot me in the back. . . . It makes me so upset to think about it.”