Philadelphia Jeweler Followed Home, Robbed of Luxury Watch
The incident serves as a reminder to jewelers to be “prudent” about what they wear outside the store, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance said.
According to a recent alert from the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, the robbery happened Sept. 11, shortly after the store posted a video on Instagram showing its followers a newly acquired Patek Philippe.
From the video as shared by the local ABC affiliate, the watch appears to be a perpetual calendar chronograph, one of the brand’s Grand Complications models, with a gold bracelet. It is estimated to be worth $150,000 to $170,000.
After the video went up, a man wearing a mask came into the store, asked about the watch, and then left.
Surveillance video shows that after he left the store, he got into a 2020 black Toyota Avalon parked behind the store; another man already was in the car.
The two remained in the area for three hours until the store owner left. They then followed him to his home in suburban Bucks County and robbed him at gunpoint of the Patek Philippe as well as his cell phone, JSA said.
He was not injured in the robbery.
The store owner, who has asked not to be publicly identified, went in and out of the store several times that day while wearing the watch. He believes the suspects were watching him to ensure he was still wearing it before they followed him home.
He told ABC6 he learned two valuable lessons from the robbery.
“One, can’t wear the items anymore, especially not the expensive items. And two, you just have to be looking around and making sure people aren’t following you in this crazy day,” he said.
The armed robbery in the Philadelphia suburbs follows a rash of luxury watch robberies that spanned both coasts in 2021, prompting JSA to issue a warning to jewelers.
JSA recommends jewelers make sure they are not being followed when driving home or to any location.
The organization also shared a note of caution about wearing expensive jewelry and watches when leaving the store, particularly if it’s just to go home for the evening.
“Jewelers need to be prudent about wearing high-end jewelry and watches outside their store. Not every situation demands wearing the most expensive items,” JSA said.
Anyone with information in the Philadelphia Patek Philippe robbery is asked to contact JSA at 212-687-0328 or email@example.com, or the Newtown (Pennsylvania) Township Police at 215-579-1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Police are offering a $5,000 reward in the case.
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