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Kardashian jewelry heist highlights celebrity security issue

The Kim Kardashian jewelry robbery in Paris highlights the complexities around celebrity security and social media, says Jim Downs, managing director of MKD International Inc.

“Most high-profile celebrities have their own security details, but there are just too many unstable people out there and social media can feed their need for information about these celebrities, providing details about where the stars are and what they are doing,” he tells AdvocateDaily.com

Downs, whose investigative firm has provided private security for celebrities at high-profile events such as the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), says people have to be aware of the risks associated with posting a great deal of information on social media.

“There are people out there who use this technology to further their own untoward motives — for robbery or other crimes,” he says. 

He says social media is such an effective way to gather intelligence about people that his team often uses it successfully as an investigative tool. 

Downs, a retired Toronto police detective, says this kind of heist involving Kardashian raises many questions. It would seem unusual for five men in ski masks and police jackets to be able to pull off this kind of a robbery in such an exclusive hotel, he says. 

“She was staying in a high-end hotel that would have its own security system, including cameras, etc.,” he says. “In a place like that, the security is like Fort Knox. One doesn’t just walk in. And somehow the guys got into her suite, one brandishing a gun, and they tied her up, took her jewelry and then they all walked out undetected.

“Even the most basic hotels have security systems that include cameras in hallways and various other public areas of the premises.”

Downs notes that no arrests have been made in the case.  

He points to how news reports have indicated that Kardashian had around $10 million in jewelry in her room. Before the robbery, she had posted on social media about one piece of jewelry, a ring that is estimated to be worth around $4 million.

“She didn’t place it in a hotel safe, which in an establishment like that, there would be a vault for such valuables,” he says.  

Downs notes the high-valued jewels were most probably insured so there will be an insurance claim arising out of the robbery. 

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