Stolen Watches

Investigating London's spike in Swiss watch theft

Stolen Watches Theft of Swiss watches is rife across the world, but nowhere is it as widespread as in London. Every month, violent robberies of Rolexes and Patek Philippes occur in broad daylight.
Richard King is a police officer and chief of 'Operation Venice' which intercepts thieves. Rush hour is a particularly dangerous time for theft. "At this time of day, the thieves try to disguise themselves as commuters...It's very hard to tell if they are just on their way to work or if they are going to commit a crime." The problem is worsened because watch brands are paying less attention to sales of stolen watches. Spencer Dryer, Director of the second-hand watch store BQ Watches, explains: "ten years ago, Rolex had a log that showed which watches were lost or stolen. We sent an email to Rolex every day and they told us if a watch was stolen." Chris Marinello, Director of Art Recovery International, says that watch brands should do more to protect consumers against theft: “if nothing is done, the watch industry will suffer dramatically. There will be a drop in sales and people will avoid them.

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