PARIS — French police arrested 16 people Monday in connection with the October theft of more than US$10 million worth of jewelry from Kim Kardashian West.
Paris police officials said the arrests took place starting around 6 a.m. in different locations in the Paris region. The suspects — aged from 23 to 72 — can be held for up to 96 hours before police must either charge them or let them go.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly about the continuing investigation.
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,” he told the French magazine L’Express Monday.
Veil said his client could be heard again by investigators and might have to face the suspects.
On Oct. 3, robbers forced their way into the private Paris residence where Kardashian West was staying, tied her up, held her at gunpoint and then 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 found at the residence. One official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said many were already known for robbery and other crimes.
Earlier this month, the starlet broke her silence on the robbery in a teaser for the 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.”
Police said the thieves stole a jewelry box containing valuables worth US$6.7 million as well as a ring worth US$4.5 million.
Paris police previously said five people directly took part in the robbery.