POLICE in Barcelona are seeking a pair of thieves who made off with a watch worth €500,000 on Friday. One of the duo ripped the expensive timepiece off the wrist of a tourist, passing it off to their accomplice who sped away on an electric scooter.
The victim of the theft reported the loss of the Richard Mille watch to the Catalan police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, who were on Thursday trying to locate the criminals as well as the lost item itself, according to Spanish daily El Pais.
The theft took place on Friday afternoon in Barcelona’s Paseo de Gracia. The victim was spotted by the thieves sometime after 4pm in some of the city’s luxury stores.
In a second they managed to swipe the watch and then make their escape on high-speed electric scooters. The police gave chase but were unable to keep up with them.
An increase in this kind of crime in Barcelona has had the authorities on high alert since July of this year, El Pais reports, which is when a special unit was put in place to combat the modus operandi of these thieves.
During the first quarter of the year, 8% of the 6,739 violent crimes in Barcelona involved the theft of watches. The incidence of these crimes has, however, fallen in recent months according to the Mossos.