For now, it appears to be the perfect crime. The thieves who last week robbed the Puerto Rican singer Daddy Yankee, in a hotel in Valencia, didn’t use guns or violence. Nor did they have to work out the access code for the safe in the room of the co-writer of worldwide smash hit Despacito, given that an employee of the Hotel Meliá happily opened it for them, convinced that the person in front of him was part of the Reggaeton star’s entourage. The loot? Two million euros’ worth of banknotes, watches and jewels, including a heavy diamond and gold necklace that the singer liked to wear on stage.
The musician had been playing on Sunday at Latin Fest in Gandía, and, according to local media, had booked an entire floor at the Meliá, which is a four-star hotel located on the outskirts of the Mediterranean city of Valencia. The contents of the safe went missing last Tuesday afternoon, but the sting began 24 hours earlier, when one of the thieves appeared at reception and rudely requested a copy of the singer’s room key, pretending to be with the artist.
The loot? Two million euros’ worth of banknotes, watches and jewels, including a heavy diamond and gold necklace
The next day, the security cameras at the Meliá recorded a scene that could have been lifted out of a movie. A member of the gang entered Yankee’s suite with the key the hotel had provided, only to bump into the singer’s wife. The thief pretended to be a maintenance worker, apologized for the intrusion and left. Later, when the couple had exited the hotel, accompanied by their bodyguards, another individual entered the room, picked up the phone, and called reception requesting help, as they were having problems opening the safe. A hotel employee came up to the room, opened the strongbox, and left, leaving the thief with the contents.
The robbery squad at the Valencia National Police has already interviewed the hotel employees and the members of the singer’s entourage. Investigators say they are sure that the thieves – who left no prints behind – were professionals. And they suspect that someone close to Yankee could have passed them information about the room where the singer was staying, and his movements.
Daddy Yankee requested that the inquiries were made in secret
Juan Carlos Fulgencio, the central government’s delegate in the Valencia region, said on Friday that the investigation is considering “a number of theories” over what happened, and revealed that Daddy Yankee requested that the inquiries were made in secret. On Thursday, where he was in France for another concert, the singer issued a short statement confirming that the robbery had taken place: “A firm of lawyers has been hired and there will be no more statements on the issue so as to not obstruct the investigation in any way,” the text read.
The award-winning musician is the latest in a long line of celebrities to suffer such high-profile thefts. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian was robbed by a group of thieves who managed to enter her hotel room in Paris in October 2016. Kardashian was bound and gagged, and lost nearly $10 million worth of items, mostly jewelry.
Former Formula 1 driver Jenson Button and his then-wife Jessica Michibata were robbed while they slept in a villa in Saint Moritz, and even lost the engagement ring he had bought for her. Model Kate Moss suffered a burglary of her house in 2010, with thieves taking a portrait of her done by street artist Banksy, and that was valued at around €100,000.
While he was playing for Real Madrid, soccer player Arjen Robben threatened three thieves who had entered into his house with a knife. The story only came to light a year later, when the team reminded its players that they had a security team available to them 24 hours a day and used what had happened to Robben as an example of the risks they faced.
English version by Simon Hunter.