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

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.

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:

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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Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

Paris police on Tuesday fished a man out of the Seine river, which he jumped into after he rammed a car into a Valentino store and robbed dozens of luxury handbags.

Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

The 24-year-old suspect smashed into the store around 2am on the high-end Rue Saint-Honoré, a police source said.

He grabbed as many as 30 luxury handbags and other items before attempting to flee in the car.

The man then failed to stop when a police patrol gave chase after spotting him near the central Paris Opéra.

He abandoned the car on Place de la Concorde at the end of the Champs-Elysées, the police source said, before plunging into the nearby river Seine.

But river police quickly fished him out and placed him under arrest.

A source familiar with the case said that the “entirety” of the stolen items had been found.

A second source told AFP that “around 30” handbags – which Valentino lists on its website at between €1,000 and €3,000 – were found in his car.

The suspect now faces an investigation for charges including aggravated robbery and refusal to comply with police, Paris prosecutors said.