2 Charged in Series of Luxury Watch Robberies in NY Metro Area

CrimeJul 28, 2021

2 Charged in Series of Luxury Watch Robberies in NY Metro Area

The men allegedly stole, or attempted to steal, watches worth hundreds of thousands of dollars off victims’ wrists.

New York—Two men have been charged in connection with multiple luxury watch robberies and attempted robberies throughout the New York metro area.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, Victor Rivera, 30, and 40-year-old Johan Araujo allegedly committed 11 armed robberies and attempted robberies of jewelers and owners of luxury watches in New York, New Jersey, and Long Island.

Starting around October 2019 and continuing through November 2020, a recently unsealed indictment alleges the two men, as well as “others known and unknown,” robbed or tried to rob victims of luxury watches worth up to hundreds of thousands of dollars each.

Targeted watch brands included Richard Mille, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Patek Philippe.

The attorney’s office declined to comment when asked if there were more suspects involved in the robberies, stating only that the investigation is ongoing.

Rivera used a gun in several of the robberies, the attorney’s office said, and in one incident, a victim was shot but survived.

A full list of the 11 robberies and attempted robberies Rivera and Araujo are charged in can be seen in the statement from the office. 

Back in March, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance issued a warning about a spate of high-end watch robberies in the New York area, as well as in Los Angeles.

 Related stories will be right here … 

Araujo was arrested on July 23, while Rivera was previously charged in an indictment in November 2020 and is currently in custody. 

Both have been charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery, attempted robbery, attempted extortion, interstate transportation of stolen property, money laundering, and firearms offenses. 

Their charges carry a range of maximum penalties, from 10 years to life in prison. 

Each man entered a plea of not guilty on Monday, according to the court docket. 

Another pre-trial conference is scheduled for Oct. 8. 
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

The Latest

WatchesJan 24, 2022
These Were the Top 5 Watch Brands of 2021 on Chrono24

Two of the brands in the top slots may come as a surprise.

SourcingJan 24, 2022
How One Collaboration Is Trying to Bring More American Gems to Museums

“American Gemstones” wants to raise appreciation of the stones, and those who mine and cut them, even more.

TechnologyJan 24, 2022
Reshyne Aims to Put Modern Shine on Jewelry Repairs

The platform helps jewelers manage and track repairs via their website and allows customers to place orders online.

Brought to you by
Swarovski Created Diamonds – A Brilliant Partnership

A tantalizingly beautiful and carbon-neutral choice, Swarovski Created Diamonds are an extension of the beloved brand’s personality and value.

MajorsJan 24, 2022
Kendall Jenner Fronts the Latest Messika Campaign

It portrays a modern “alpha female.”

Weekly QuizJan 21, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
CollectionsJan 21, 2022
Piece of the Week: Emily P. Wheeler’s Heart Necklace

It’s a whimsical update to a classic riviere.

SourcingJan 21, 2022
Stephen Lussier to Retire After 37 Years With De Beers

Tiffany executive Mark Jacheet will succeed Lussier, who officially steps down in April.

Brought to you by
Melee the Show Launches Tucson Event, Returns to New York in 2022

The boutique tradeshow, happening first in Tucson then New York City, brings together upscale designers from around the world.

Recorded WebinarsJan 21, 2022
Watch: What the Industry Can Expect for Tucson 2022

National Jeweler chats with three colored stone dealers on recent buying activity and what that could mean for the upcoming gem shows.