“Everything went smoothly” – a 67-year-old man who was waiting four years ago in Paris for the heist of reality star Kim Kardashian has written the life story that led to his involvement in the robbery in a new book.
Yunice Abbas, who describes herself as a “part-time crook”, was one of 12 people arrested for snatching a small jewelry fortune after surprising Kardashian at the luxury residence she rented for Fashion Week.
As the title of his book makes clear – “I Kidnapped Kim Kardashian” – Abbas has no plans to challenge the charges in a trial that prosecutors hope will begin this year.
It was the largest single person robbery in France in two decades. The thieves set off with a total shipment of around nine million euros (10.8 million US dollars).
Most of the pieces were never found: the police only found a diamond-studded cross that Abbas dropped while exiting the scene on a bicycle.
“The jury has to choose, and in theory they will only do so based on what is presented to them in court, but 50 stories have been told about it – I wanted to tell my truth, the one I lived,” said Abbas AFP.
He was one of five men, aged 60 to 72 – referred to in the press as “grandpa robbers” – who entered Kardashian’s apartment around 2:30 am on the night of October 3, 2016.
The star later told police that the men, at least one of whom wore a jacket with a police badge, tied her up with plastic cords and tape and put her in the bathtub.
“I needed the money”
“It was quick, maybe five, six, seven minutes, from the entrance to the exit, because everything went smoothly. Nobody interfered, the victim handed over the jewels without resistance,” said Abbas.
But when he walked alone on the street – he says he was the last to go – he was faced with a police patrol.
“I closed the door and they were looking at me, so I gave a little sign, like a greeting.
“They were only on one of their rounds, but obviously I was nervous. I looked calm, or at least I tried and it worked.”
Abbas said he felt sorry almost immediately and was one of 12 suspects arrested three months later.
He’d lived his life in and out of jail – 21 years total – but had been “clean” for nine years before the Kardashian robbery “was offered at a time I needed the money,” he said.
After 22 months behind bars, a judge released him for health reasons, and Abbas is now hoping a jury will be lenient after heart surgery.
“My fear returns to prison, my health is no longer good,” he said. “When you have an attack, you may have to wait hours before you can do anything with disastrous results.”