17 arrested over Kardashian West jewelry heist
Paris — French police arrested 17 people Monday in the October theft of more than $10 million worth of jewelry from Kim Kardashian West, who was tied up and locked in a bathroom after armed robbers forced their way into her rented Paris apartment.
Authorities said police seized weapons and a large amount of cash in multiple raids that took placed starting around 6 a.m. in different locations in the Paris region and the south of France. The suspects ranged in age from 23 to 72, and included several known for prior robberies and other crimes, according to a police document seen by The Associated Press.
Among the items seized were an automatic pistol and other weapons, as well as 140,000 euros ($147,500) in cash, said police officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly about the continuing investigation.
Earlier this month, the starlet broke her silence on the robbery in a teaser for the Kardashian family’s reality show, telling two of her sisters her thoughts at the time: “They’re going to shoot me in the back. There’s no way out.”
The Paris prosecutors’ office confirmed the arrests, but declined to say whether they included five people that police have said took part in the actual robbery.
During the Oct. 3 robbery, gunmen forced their way into the private Paris residence where Kardashian West was staying, tied her up and locked her in a bathroom before making off with her jewelry. The reality TV star was in Paris attending fashion week shows.
Media reports said police tracked down the suspects through DNA evidence in the apartment.
Kardashian West has the habit of showing her jewels and whereabouts on social media, including days before the robbery when she posted pictures of herself attending fashion week shows.
Police said the thieves stole a jewelry box containing valuables worth 6 million euros ($6.7 million) as well as a ring worth 4 million euros ($4.5 million). Police analyzed footage from surveillance cameras to try to identify the assailants, who wore fake police emblems on their jackets.
At the time, a spokeswoman for Kardashian West said she was badly shaken but physically unharmed. The robbery raised new concerns about security in the French capital after a string of deadly extremist attacks.
The suspects can be held for up to 96 hours before police must either charge them or let them go.
Jean Veil, the French lawyer for Kardashian West, said the news of arrests is “a great satisfaction.”
“These arrests are a nice surprise because we might be able to find the jewels,” Veil told the French magazine L’Express.
He said his client could be interviewed again by investigators and might have to face the suspects.
Paris has been a special place for Kardashian West and her husband, who spent the weekend there before marrying in Florence in May 2014.