UPDATE: The Associated Press reports that a total of 17 people were arrested in connection with the crime in raids that began at 6 a.m. Paris time, with the suspects ranging in age from 23-72. The unnamed suspects can be held for up to 96 hours before either being charged or let go. Kardashian’s French lawyer, Jean Veil, said the news of the arrests is “a great satisfaction,” telling L’Express magazine on Monday that, “these arrests are a nice surprise because we might be able to find the jewels.” Veil said Kardashian may have to face the suspects at a later date.
Nearly three months after Kim Kardashian’s terrifying robbery during Paris Fashion Week, French authorities have reportedly arrested more than a dozen people in connection with the crime. The AFP News Agency reported that 16 suspects were taken into custody during raids in and around Paris on Monday (Jan. 9) based on DNA evidence found at the scene.
The news service said that police swarmed around Paris and the the cities of Seine-Maritime and the Alpes-Maritimes in the South of France following forensic work at the luxury hotel where Kardashian was tied up and robbed of jewelry estimated at $11 million in October. “One of the DNA samples matched an individual known to police for robbery and criminal offences, who is considered a major thug,” a source told the AFP. Money and unnamed documents were also seized in the raid.
According to a Europe 1 report, the investigation in connection with “robbery with organized gun, confinement and association of perpetrators,” included some suspects who were well-known to police for their criminal past. Among the suspects was a 60-year-old, who was said to have played a “major role” by directly participating in tying up Kardashian. As they fled the scene, police said the perpetrators left several clues behind, including DNA fingerprints at the scene, which led to a suspect that was already in the nation’s genetic fingerprint file.
Though there was no surveillance video in the hotel, police used a number of recordings in the area around the building, allowing them to spot some of the thieves who fled on bicycle, carrying the “loot in a simple plastic bag.” BBC News put the arrest total at 17, saying the men appeared to be mainly in their 50s; five men took part in the attack, with three holding up the hotel’s night porter and the other two entering the luxury apartment the reality star was renting during her stay. DNA was also reportedly found on the materials used to tie up Kardashian and a diamond cross pendant found the next day on the street that was apparently dropped by the gang as they fled.
Kardashian recently broke her silence on the Oct. 3 event in a promo clip for the upcoming season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, telling her sisters “they’re going to shoot me in the back… there’s no way out. It makes me so upset to think about it.”
Portions of this article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.