Police seize watches worth millions in London

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Police in Westminster have today seized a haul of watches worth £2 million, suspected to be timepieces stolen in robberies targeting wealthy victims in central London.

Around 250 watches were seized in a raid on an unlicensed pawnbroker in Westminster, with one in particular drawing attention – a Breguet Tourbillon worth around £100,000, possibly the same watch stolen recently in an unusual "hand shake scam" in Mayfair.

Many of the watches were from luxury brands including Franck Muller, Audemars Piguet, Jacob & Co., Ulysse Nardin and Breitling, while platinum and diamond-set timepieces were among the loot.

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Police said they believe many of the watches were taken during “hugger mugger” attacks, when victims are targeted by over friendly strangers on the street.

A 39-year-old man has been arrested and is on bail.

Detectives are investigating 48 attacks in Mayfair that have taken place over a the past three months. Around 150 watches were found on sale, while the remainder were held in a private safe.

Detective Inspector Andrew Fleming, of Westminster CID, said: “We looked at the people going into the store and they did not necessarily fit the profile of the people in that area.

“The owner was putting around £500,000 worth of watches into the shop window each day.”
 

 

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