HOLLYWOOD—Celebrities have been always targeted, when it comes to stripping them of their precious jewelry. Thieves know that they are worth millions of dollars, so they will stop at nothing to steal them. Back in 2008, Paris Hilton had $2 million worth of jewelry stolen from her by the infamous ‘Bling Ring,’ now immortalized in the Sophia Coppola film of the same name.
Her items were returned to her by the LAPD after the culprits were caught. Lindsay Lohan was also a victim. The crew of teen thieves got their hands on $130,000 of her jewelry and clothes. Another celebrity that was hit back in September was Drake, his tour bus was reportedly stripped to the tune of $3 million including jewelry belonging to DJ Future the Prince, while the pair were performing in Phoenix, Arizona. Travion King was charged with felony burglary in the case. In 2014, Miley Cyrus’ North Hollywood home was burglarized, when robbers took a $100,000 Maserati and jewelry. Cyrus wasn’t as fortunate; no suspects were apprehended.
Hollywood or New York City, but when it comes to major organized heists, France seems to be a target of choice. Back in 2008, the Harry Winston store on Avenue Montaigne ( not far from the police headquarters) was held up at gun point; thieves got away with close to $105 million worth of diamonds and jewels. A far cry from the $11 million Kim Kardashian lost in jewelry. Nonetheless, a lot of millions. A few hours after returning from a Paris Fashion Week dinner early Monday morning, on October 3, Kim Kardashian West was tied up and robbed at gunpoint in her hotel room at the exclusive Hotel de Pourtales.
The thieves-reportedly five men disguised as police officers-made off with an estimated $9 million in jewelry, including a ring, as well as two cellphones and a wallet containing credit cards. Kim was “badly shaken, but physically unharmed” by the ordeal.
Kim later took a private jet and landed at New Jersey’s Teterboro airport, where she met Kanye and her mother, Kris Jenner, along with a security team, according to reports. Kanye who was performing that night, stopped his concert in New York in the middle of the show and said he had a family emergency and walked off the stage. They later arrived together to their Manhattan apartment. According to the AP, Kim’s friends LaLa Anthony, Jonathan Cheban and Simon Huck arrived separately without speaking to the media.
Will she ever recover the stolen goods? Why do you think they targeted her in Paris, and not in Los Angeles or at another of her homes?
According to published reports, this has happened to celebrities and high-net-worth individuals of France many times before. If they are a celebrity, they have a secure home, video surveillance, people around them. If it’s a jewelry store, they have all sorts of protections. Jewelers all attend prestigious events in France, like Paris Week and the Cannes Film Festival. Thieves also know this is where people with the jewelry congregate, and they are out of their comfort zone.
So this hotel didn’t have a procedure to handle this? The hotel was a small, exclusive, boutique hotel. A huge disadvantage to a major five-star hotel. A five-star-hotel has video surveillance and safes. So will the hotel be responsible? They are responsible if you prove negligence in their security, which may or may not be the case under French law. Will she ever recover the jewelry? Highly unlikely. Thieves move quickly. They usually go to Antwerp, and maybe the first buyer knows something is weird, but by the time it hits the fifth buyer three days later-odds are it will be in some American’s engagement ring within a year.
Diamonds trade over and over. What they will do is take apart all of the jewelry: the big stones they’ll hold on to (worth more), and the smaller pieces they can sell quickly, without a problem. The big stones are recognized to anybody in the industry, and usually belong to a famous person. So they stash them for a while, or sell them to a buyer or the last resort have a corrupt person in the business change the stones to make them unrecognizable. Or they can take a big stone and cleave it into two or three smaller stones and sell them separately.
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