Watch Store Looting


Rolex looted

Looting is not a form of protest. You know it. I know it. The police know it. But police in cities across this country aren’t ready, willing and/or able to protect businesses from the “protesters” threatening lives and destroying property and, thus, livelihoods. Jewelry stores are, of course, a favorite target for looters. The watch store looting that went down last night is staggering . . .

Very few jewelry/watch store owners – if any – have an insurance policy that covers loss in the case of a riot/looting. Very few outside of Los Angeles – in Chicago, Tampa, Miami, D.C., Minneapolis, Seattle, Dallas, etc. – thought it could happen to them.

Message to owners

This mob violence comes hot on the heels of the COVID-19 shutdown – already on track to bankrupt hundreds of independent jewelry stores. Luckily and obviously, most stores had their fine watches and jewelry in safes before the lawlessness got into high gear. Even so . . .

Watch store looters take their toll

There is every “mom and pop” watch and jewelry store will recover from the rioting’s physical devastation.

Watch store looting in Minneapolis“Many mayors and governors have had police standing down and letting the chaos continue,” Dallas’ reports in a post on a store owner beaten within an inch of his life by a mob. “They are leaving shop owners forced to attempt to defend their livelihoods from people with no value for human life.”


More than a few jewelery store owners weren’t prepared to let looters ransack their business, or watch their building go up in flames. Owners in states where their second amendment right to keep and bear arms is not infringed armed themselves to defend against watch store looters.

Protecting against looters

Miami as above. Scottsdale’s reports on an armed dealer and his cohort in The Grand Canyon State:

 As protesters in Scottsdale moved down 5th Avenue, local stores had windows broken and benches along the road were damaged.

The vandalism continued down the road, until protesters came to a local jewelry store. There, the protesters found a handful of people inside the store, armed with rifles and handguns. 

The people were inside the store with guns because they had heard what happened to the Apple store at Scottsdale Fashion Square and wanted to protect their private property, the store owner’s son said.

“We weren’t here to hurt anybody. We weren’t here to harm anybody,” the store owner’s son, who did not wish to be identified by name, said. “After seeing exactly what happened to the Apple store, this isn’t protesting, this isn’t rioting, this is crime.”

The protesters stopped and proceeded to hold a bit of a protest, kneeling and raising their arms in front of the store.

Jewelry store owners in Minnesota faced the same onslaught of watch store looters – but labored under the state’s “duty to retreat” self-defense law.

Which will be tested soon enough, now that Cadillac Pawn Store owner John Richard Rieple has been arrested for murder. WARNING: Graphic video.

Mr. Rieple’s store was looted after his arrest.

Apple Store looting DC

Apple stores were also a favorite target for looters. The above pic is from our nation’s capitol, where looters removed computers, iPads, Apple Watches, everything that wasn’t nailed down.

Again, looting is not a form of protest. It is a criminal act. It’s the police’s job to prevent and apprehend looters. Their failure to do so in many instances is a political, ethical and moral failure.

Some watch store owners who’ve been looted will recover. Please consider them for your next purchase.

UPDATE: Another night of jewelry store/pawnshop looting. Click here for More Jewelry Store Looting, More Misery.


  1. I live in Los Angeles, which had several riot zones last night. The stores targeted revealed a clear opportunism at play – Gucci, Nordstrom, Apple. There are protestors with legitimate grievances. But looters are not protestors. The media’s often contorted efforts to legitimize their actions by making them seem more nobile (civil unrest, fighting back, etc) are almost as bad as the transgression that started all this. This is just opportunistic crime.

  2. I don’t really want to buy a watch from a company that would be looted–feels like a club of which I wouldn’t want to be a member.

    • So you wouldn’t buy a watch from Target? Nor an iPhone? What about bread from a Grocery store. Get over yourself.

      • Well, thanks to your insightful comment, I have now gotten over myself! But Robert has written before about what’s involved in wearing a Rolex, and I cannot do more than summarize here. There are things you like for themselves and things you like as signifiers.

        The problem is that when something you like–for whatever reason–serves as a wealth signifier, it can put you in danger. Robert wrote, I think, two articles about this–about being careful where you wear your Rolex. All good advice.

        But it’s all a lot of trouble just for a hobby, isn’t it? If you like the watch as a watch–there are other things you can collect that trigger less violence among your peers. If you like it as a signifier–i suppose we were all careful before about what it signified to others, but now all of that is a little more debased.

        • My wife bought me a Timex Ironman from Target, once. Asked the store clerk if she could try it on, as of course it was strapped into a plastic anti-theft case.

          “Honey,” the store clerk said, “it’s Target.” This story, which my wife related to me, predates “sir, this is a Wendy’s” by several years.

          I have never purchased a luxury watch from Target, no, because Target doesnt sell them. “Honey, it’s Target.”

          • Clearly my point was missed. “I don’t really want to buy a watch from a company that would be looted–feels like a club of which I wouldn’t want to be a member.” My point is, a lot of companies have been looted (including apple and others, do you use a smart phone?) as people have been stealing all sorts of goods. Anything can be seen as a wealth identifier and you’re trying to come off as a snob as a twist on Groucho Marx’s quote.

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