Police Warn About Designer Watch Thefts in Paris After 20 Were Stolen This Weekend
Police in Paris are warning tourists and locals alike following a string of robberies where over 20 expensive watches were stolen.
A police officer told Le Parisien on Sunday that the thieves “scout bars and nightclubs for alcohol-affected victims, and are only interested in watches that are easy to snatch.” They operate around a “golden triangle” near the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees.
Last year, thefts of luxury watches rose 28 percent in Paris, according to the newspaper.
One woman who was wearing a Rolex was robbed upon leaving a restaurant near the Arc de Triomphe. She reported being attacked by multiple people who tore the watch from her wrist.
Home break-ins for luxury loot are also becoming more common in Paris. One man came home from vacation to find 19 watches stolen from his apartment, 11 of which were Rolexes. The burglars particularly target homes and apartments where there do not appear to be any lights on.
Crimes against those with luxury items have been more prevalent over the past few years. In 2016, Kim Kardashian West was tied up and robbed in her rented Paris apartment, Following the incident, Paris increased police presence in its wealthiest neighborhoods, particularly during high-profile events like fashion week.
When traveling in Paris, visitors would be well-advised to leave flashy jewelry at home.
And perhaps even take a tip from Rick Steves who was pickpocketed last year and invest in a good money belt to protect small but valuable items.