Members of the paparazzi who were assigned to follow Kim Kardashian West during Paris Fashion Week recall two men who may have been tailing her with the group of photographers.
After the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star was tied up by five men disguised as police officers and robbed of $10 million worth of jewels in her Paris Apartment early Monday morning, two paparazzi tell PEOPLE that they suspect two of the robbers were following her throughout the week.
“I’m sure of it. There were these two guys,” one paparazzi tells PEOPLE. “One was in a car and the other on a scooter. They were French, and they were just strange.”
According to several veteran photographers, the pair turned up outside Balmain on Thursday evening and followed the couple to the restaurant Ferdi. “One was a tall, skinny one with a little beard. The other is described as a dark French type, possibly North African.”
One of the photographers tells PEOPLE: “They were speaking French without accent. One guy was on a scooter and the other, the skinny one was driving a Fiat and trying to drive in with us like he was a scooter. It was dangerous really reckless.”
According to one of the paparazzi, the same 15 to 17 photographers follow Kardashian West and Kanye West, so when they recognized that the two additional men were not out for photographs, they alerted the celebrity couple’s security.
“We know each other. We know the bodyguards, they know us. These guys weren’t photographers, weren’t fans. So when we got to the restaurant we talked to them,” one of the paparazzi tells PEOPLE. “One guy told different stories, said he was from the neighborhood. Then he said he was a cop. This was so not right — we pointed them out to Kanye’s security.”
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A member of the paparazzi also recalls one of the photographers challenging one of the men because he was putting the rest of the group in danger. “One of the other photographers approached him, challenged him because he jeopardized lives the way he was trying to ride in with us. First, he said he was from the neighborhood and that was why he was following with us. We didn’t believe him. Then he said: ‘I’m a cop.’ He tried entering the restaurant, was told he couldn’t and then said: ‘Okay. No problem,’ but he just stayed around on the sidewalk,” the paparazzi tells PEOPLE.
After the man continued to linger in the area, the pap pointed him out to West’s longtime Parisian driver, Fouad, and Kardashian West’s bodyguard, Pascal Duvier, who “had a look at him.”
Shortly after the couple left their dinner, a member of the paparazzi group tells PEOPLE that the address to their hotel was overheard, but that he “didn’t see the scooter rider again,” except “as soon as we turned into the Rue Tronchet that night on the way back I swear I saw the grey Fiat.”
While the photographers say they did not see the pair again in the following three days, they have cooperated with police and supplied images. The Paris Prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation and Madame Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, spokesperson for the Prosecutor’s office, told PEOPLE that “an investigation is open and at this time all possibilities are being looked at.”
- With Natalie Stone