On Monday, French police made an official announcement regarding the progress of their investigation into the armed robbery of reality TV star Kim Kardashian West after arresting 17 people they believed were involved. A coordinated arrest in different parts of the city began about 6 a.m. this morning, and suspects in the $10 million robbery are already being brought before a magistrate.
The authorities had apparently been monitoring the suspects prior to the arrests this morning. According to the New York Times, Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, who is a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office, said that the coordinated arrests this morning were made in the Paris region as well as in southern France, most notably in Grasse, which is known for perfume production, near Nice. The suspects range in age from 23-years-old up to 72 and were all already known to the authorities for other robberies and criminal activities prior to the Paris robbery of Kardashian West. Several of the 17 persons were also in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, which suggested that they were career criminals and part of an “experienced” group.
Kim Kardashian Robbery Not Over! - https://t.co/Mtd9iunlow— Reality Talent (@RealityTalent7) January 9, 2017
The Paris prosecutor’s office has not revealed the identity of any of the suspects arrested but willingly confirmed that it was 17 persons arrested, but previous reports said that it was 16 persons arrested. They have also declined to say whether the five persons who took part in the actual robbery, including the two who took Kim Kardashian West at gunpoint in her rented Paris apartment, were among those arrested.
Under French law, the suspects authorities took into custody can be held for up to four days (96 hours) before the police would either be forced to bring charges against them or let them go. People Magazine reported that despite tight-lipped officials, they had learned that several of the suspects had been brought before two magistrates after the arrests early Monday morning.
Kim Kardashian West’s French lawyer, Jean Veil, spoke with the media after news of the arrests became public and called it a “great satisfaction.” He also told the French magazine L’Express of his hopes that the stolen jewelry can be found. Veil believes that investigators may need to interview his client once more and that she may have to face the suspects.
A previous Inquisitr story suggested that pictures of the suspects would be sent to the reality television star for possible identification, and another suggested that the French police would fly to New York to speak to Kardashian West personally about the October 3, 2016, robbery.
Kim Kardashian West had been in Paris along with her hip-hop mogul husband, Kanye West, and several other members of her family for the Paris Fashion Week shows. Reports stated that gunmen broke into the private residence where the family had been staying when only Kim had been home. They held the 36-year-old at gunpoint, tied her up, and locked her in the bathroom before making off with millions of dollars worth of jewelry as well as cell phones and a wallet. The suspects then fled on foot and bicycles.
An essential part of the case was obtained when a pedestrian found and turned in a piece of jewelry that the robbers had dropped as they fled. The platinum and diamond-encrusted Jacob & Co. Cross, valued at $33,000, was found to have “exploitable DNA” from the robbers. Along with DNA evidence found at the crime scene and security camera footage, police were able to identify several suspects and set up a surveillance operation in order to uncover the wider criminal network. Luc Poignant, a spokesman for a police union, said it only took three months to identify the network, which is relatively short in these types of investigations.
“You have the robbers, and then the one who is going to sell off the goods, the one who puts people in touch, the stone cutter, etc.”
Kim Kardashian took time from the spotlight following the ordeal and only recently returned to social media. Veil is also glad of the arrests as a means to end the “shameful speculation,” which many had that the robbery was nothing but a publicity stunt.
[Featured Image by Lionel Cironneau/AP Images]