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.
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.
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.
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