Warning over Paris street robbers who target expensive jewellery after €800k watch snatched

Warning over Paris street robbers who target expensive jewellery after €800k watch snatched
A Richard Mille watch similar to the one that was stolen. Photo: AFP:
A man had a watch worth €800,000 ripped off his wrist in Paris in the latest of a series of attacks targeting people who wear expensive items on the street.

The theft of luxury watches in the fashionable districts of Paris is quite common. And it is a scourge which the Parisian police is taking very seriously – although  there aren’t many watches worth €800,000.

On Tuesday, the Paris Public Prosecutor's Office referred the matter to the BRB (Brigade de répression du banditisme) of the Parisian Judicial Police to conduct this investigation into the violent aggravated theft of a luxury watch. The robbery took place on Monday evening at 9:30pm on Avenue de Friedland, near the Champs-Elysées.

A 30-year-old Japanese businessman who was staying at the Napoleon Hotel, a 5-star Parisian establishment near the Arc de Triomphe, was smoking outside with another customer.

An individual, about 1.80m tall and wearing a parka, appeared, asked the Japanese customer for a cigarette. It was a ruse to check the brand of his watch. The thief then grabbed the man’s wrist and ripped off his watch.

He immediately fled to Haussmann Boulevard.

The victim, uninjured, filed a complaint. The Swiss watch, from the Richard Mille luxury brand, model “Tourbillon diamond twister” is valued at €800,000.

However, the thief demonstrated that he is not in fact a criminal mastermind as he managed to lose his mobile phone during the escape. The police are optimistic that it will be rich in DNA and information.

This year, in Paris and its suburbs, 71 people were assaulted for their luxury watches between January 1st and September 1st. On Thursday August 29th alone, four attacks were recorded. The victims were targeted by experts who were able to recognise the models at a glance.


Member comments

  1. It’s very upsetting to be robbed, especially with violence, it’s wrong and can’t be condoned, but I find it hard to sympathise with idiots that walk around displaying very expensive jewellery especially in a large city. Who on earth wants a three quarters of a million Euros watch? My Timex cost twenty eight Euros and keeps excellent time, so I guess if these people want this sort of ostentatious display then snobbery gets the better of common sense.

  2. Thank you! Only an IDIOT would a) buy a watch that expensive b) wear it and c) then arrange for the insurance money? Can we spell inside job?

  3. Anyone as shallow, stupid and show-off as to wear an €800k watch in public deserves to get ripped off.

    Wearing such a watch is a sign of (a) ACTUAL inner self-esteem lower than whale-you-know-what and (b) a “Let them Eat Cake” arrogance taller than the Tour D’Eiffel. Doesn’t this idiot remember what guillotines are for?

  4. No one should be robbed regardless of what they wear. If he can afford it, he should be able to buy it. There is no evidence that “let them eat cake ” was said by Marie Antoinette. So, people should go to the guillotine for having a fancy watch? Scary!

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