Watch Crime: September 2019

Thai Police hammer fake Rolex

Thai Police hammer fake Rolex

Expensive watches are criminal catnip. Cheap fakes are the bane of many manufacturers’ existence. And in San Jose your Fitbit watches you. Here’s our round-up of legally lamentable horological happenstance. You know, watch crime. Starting with a trip to the Republic of South Africa . . .

The Mall of Africa

1 killed, 4 arrested after jewellery store robbery at Mall of Africa [via

Police in Gauteng [South Africa] responded swiftly after a jewellery store was robbed at the Mall of Africa on Wednesday, fatally wounding one suspect and arresting four others.

Arthur Kaplan Mall of Africa showroom

Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said the suspects had allegedly made away with expensive watches including pricey Rolex and Breitling watches, which were allegedly stolen during a robbery at the Arthur Kaplan store at the mall.

The expensive watches were recovered, along with a high-calibre rifle and live rounds of ammunition, he said.

Watch crime happened here

“The armed gang shot at the police when they were intercepted in Marlboro and police returned fire resulting to one suspect being fatally shot and four arrested on the spot. Police recovered high calibre firearm as they effect arrests. Jewellery that includes Rolex, Breitling, Omega and TAG Heuer watches were recovered,” said Masondo.

OUR TAKE: Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! But an amed robbery in a high-end jewelery store in the RSA? As predictable as the sun coming up in the East. I’m surprised Kaplan Jewelry wasn’t more prepared.

Watch crime scene Little Rock, AK

15-year-old robbed at gunpoint while trying to sell smartwatch in Little Rock [via]

The teen reportedly listed the Apple Watch on Facebook Marketplace and was contacted by a woman who said she was interested in buying the device, according to a Little Rock police report.

Police said the 15-year-old arrived at a parking lot at 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road shortly before 6 p.m. to sell his watch to the woman. However, he instead met a male who brandished a handgun and took the watch and its charger before leaving on foot.

The teen’s father said he drove his son to the meeting place but didn’t get a good look at the gunman, according to authorities.

OUR TAKE: How much is a hot Apple Watch worth? It can’t be much. But horol0gical fence-ability means watch crime pays. A cautionary tale for anyone looking to arrange a private sale of an expensive watch.

Thai police hammer fake Rolex to prove watch crime doesn't pay

B550m in fakes scheduled for demolition [via] 

More than 10 million counterfeit items worth about 550 million baht that were seized by authorities in recent months will be destroyed in Samut Prakan, the Commerce Ministry has announced.

The items, confiscated nationwide by the police, customs officials and the Department of Special Investigation, have been legally processed and are destined to be destroyed at the Bang Poo Industrial Estate in Samut Prakan.

Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit on Thursday presided over a ceremony to inspect the goods, which include fake brand-name handbags, watches and 9 million cigarettes.

OUR TAKE: Bang Poo Industrial Estate? Someone’s having a laff, mate.

Killer fingered by Fitbit

91-year-old accused in killing where Fitbit gave clues dies [via]

Tony Aiello died Tuesday at a hospital in San Jose where he was taken due to “deteriorating health” from pre-existing conditions.

Aiello was arrested last year in the death of 67-year-old Karen Navarra, who wore a device that tracked her steps and heart rate.

Authorities say Navarra’s Fitbit recorded a rapid rise in her heart rate before a sudden drop-off. Police say cameras captured Aiello’s car at Navarra’s home at the time her Fitbit showed her heartbeat rapidly falling.

An autopsy found “multiple deep and intrusive wounds” to her head and face, likely inflicted by a small hatchet or ax.

OUR TAKE: I can’t help but wish Mr. Aiello had been staring at a Fitbit on his wrist during his final moments, watching his life ebb away.

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