Kim Kardashian robbed in Paris: An ex-robber explains how to stay safe

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

I have been robbed at gunpoint more than 8 times in my life. When I was only 11 years old I was already involved with a robbery ring and was a part of six robberies. Believe me, I understand the intense preparation that goes into these things.

What happened to Kim Kardashian in Paris this weekend, where she was tied up and robbed of more than $10 million in jewelry, was not an impromptu idea. These guys had a plan.

When I became a kingpin drug dealer – in other words a “Street God” -- I learned how to evade robbers who tried several times to set me up so that they could rob and kill me. I was in the drug world from age 11 until age 23.

My heart goes out to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. In the middle of a stick up you simply don’t know if you’re going to live, die or possibly be sexually assaulted.

What happened to Kim Kardashian in Paris this weekend, where she was tied up and robbed of more than $10 million in jewelry, was not an impromptu idea. These guys had a plan.

So how can you protect yourself from a stick up when you are in a foreign country?

First, Americans must wake up! The world has changed and our lavish lifestyles attract attacks on us all.

When we travel overseas we look like the answer to most people’s poverty.

When I’m traveling I always watch everything and I especially notice people who are overly interested in my schedule.

When you’re overseas you should avoid answering questions like, “how long are you staying?” My reply is often that we are still figuring that out, or I share that my stay is longer then it really is. That way, if a robbery is being planned, the potential criminals feel like they have more time than they really do. When I was in the drug world, I left numerous locations. When the robbers came, I was long gone.

In my Street God days my team would sit around and plan who we were going to rob. Our planning would take a minimum of two to three days. Mostly we had someone on the inside who told us about the comings and goings of our potential victim.

In this situation Kim Kardashian was already a million-dollar target. Photos of her engagement and wedding rings have been all over the tabloids for years. In 2013 MTV reported that Kim travels with $1.25 million just on her hand!

When they report on such things about our celebrities, the media helps to inform criminals about what they should potentially target.

In street terminology robberies are called “jobs.” Criminal jobs that involve $10,000 or more are usually executed by a team of criminals. Anything less than $10,000 is usually one robber or a two-man job.

Given her wealth and prominence, Kim Kardashian was clearly a high-priority target. I am grateful that she survived. She is beloved by more than 55 million of her Facebook followers. To many, she is one of America’s beloved daughters.

My other tip for you is to move around a lot and do not return to the same destination over and over or even in the same pattern.

I have recently been in Paris, Berlin, Ireland and Moscow. While traveling, we switched our location every few days. I’m not a millionaire but I know that Americans make soft targets.

I am sad to admit all of that, but it is just part of our world today.

Also, I would recommend changing the way in which you walk in a foreign country. Once, when I was in Venezuela on vacation, I went across a bridge and then through a parking lot to get to an ATM. A whole gang followed me but I noticed them. So I got my money and then went around the corner and jumped over dividers to get back to the hotel. Once I was there I watched the gang, from a safe distance, search high and low with frustration trying to find me.

I am a pastor now. But I still work with robbers and the criminal element in the South Bronx. These robbery rings that I belonged to as a young boy are still in existence and they are growing in popularity in Europe.

I am praying for the Kardashian family and I hope they get through this well.