NY Man Pleads Guilty in Series of Luxury Watch Robberies
He stole or attempted to steal watches worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from jewelers across the NY Metro area.
According to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, 30-year-old Victor Rivera has pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery between October 2019 and November 2020.
The indictment, publicly filed papers, and statements made in court indicate that during the year-long period, Rivera and others agreed to rob jewelers of luxury watches worth up to hundreds of thousands of dollars each.
They targeted Richard Mille, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Patek Philippe watches, and also stole jewels from some of the victims.
Rivera used a gun in several of the robberies, including one in which a victim was shot but survived.
There were 11 robberies and attempted robberies in the spree. A full list and details of each can be found on a press release sent by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Rivera was indicted in November 2020. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 28, where he faces a maximum prison term of 20 years.
Johan Araujo, 40, has also been charged in connection to the robberies. He was arrested last July and has maintained his plea of not guilty, the court docket shows. His trial is set for Sept. 19.
In March 2021, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance issued a warning about a spate of high-end watch robberies in New York and Los Angeles, sharing information as well as some safety tips for jewelers:
— Avoid conducting jewelry business in a public place;
— Do not resist in the event of an armed robbery; and
— Be mindful of the special risks involved in wearing expensive watches, and limit that risk accordingly.
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