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Time is money: Paris thief swipes $840k watch from tourist's wrist

China Daily | Updated: 2019-10-10 09:51

A Datejust watch of Swiss manufacturer Rolex is displayed in Basel, Switzerland, March 26, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

PARIS - A Japanese man who stepped out of his Paris hotel for a cigarette was robbed of his $840,000 Swiss watch by a thief who snatched it off his wrist, police sources said on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old victim was approached outside the five-star Hotel Napoleon near the Arc de Triomphe late on Monday by a man who asked for a cigarette.

The thief then grabbed the man's arm and fled with the rare Richard Mille timepiece, a Tourbillon Diamond Twister estimated to cost nearly 770,000 euros ($844,000).

Mille timepieces, with their bulky cases that reveal the intricate inner mechanisms, are highly prized by aficionados - and instantly recognizable to thieves targeting wealthy tourists in the French capital.

The Parisien newspaper published a map on Tuesday pinpointing some two dozen high-value watch thefts in the so-called Golden Triangle and other glitzy areas near the Champs-Elysees Avenue so far this year.

It noted at least four other Richard Mille robberies, all of watches valued at more than 100,000 euros each, were among the 71 high-value watch robberies in Paris and nearby suburbs between January and September this year.

But the Japanese victim may be luckier than most - police sources said the assailant dropped a cellphone as he fled, which has been handed over to the police division which investigates serious robberies and organized crime.

Agence France-presse

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