October 31, 2016


The Thieves Behind the $11 Million Kim Kardashian Robbery (Guy Martin, 10/31/16, Forbes)

[W]e should quickly add that every entity involved in the events faced many problems, including, not least, the Hotel de Pourtalès itself - with no cameras inside or out, an electronically coded front door in dire need of a code change, and just two (unarmed) security guards on duty. But these physical conditions were not the Pourtales' real problem. The real problem lay in the minds of the owners: they confused their quite well-considered and quite intricate, celebrity-prized commodity of privacy - meaning, their own ultra-exclusive word-of-mouth low-profile - with an actual, workable, layered security architecture. They had no real security procedure inside. In a word, they failed to imagine a defensive need, and within that failure, they failed to imagine a total breach.

The Hotel de Pourtalès owners will be putting their now-infamous establishment through a security review of an equal if not greater magnitude than that of the West family, if they hope to keep even just two or three of their former clientele. They face a marketing disaster of heavy proportions. No more Leo, no more Madonna - nobody wants to be yanked out of bed by a gang of gun-toting assailants. At $17,000 per night, as the de Pourtalès cost, or, really, at any price.

As for the gang that couldn't shoot straight: The evidence for the Paris police has come from the man variously described in the press as the Hotel Pourtalès' "night clerk" or the "security guard," a Frenchman of Algerian descent with the reported first name of Abdulrahman who was, until recently, in hiding. As he tells it, after he was bound, threatened at gunpoint and frog-marched to the West suite with his master key, the robbers entered, yanked Mrs. West from the bed, and asked for the cash.

In other words, they weren't well educated enough in the circumstance of their quarry to understand that they were on a jewelry heist until they got inside and determined that Mrs. West actually didn't have much cash on hand. It's a strategic error of great magnitude and bears an Inspector Clouseau level of comedy - they were in that moment victims of the cliché that all rappers, and their wives, live with Hermès duffels of cash. But it wasn't Gucci Mane's or Fitty's moll or even Mrs. West's sister-in-law, cash-hungry Blac Chyna, that they were in the process of robbing. They failed to understand that it was Mrs. West, who coasts through a largely cash-free life, albeit with enormous sums moving around electronically.

Posted by at October 31, 2016 5:14 PM