Like a tourist cannot part with an expensive watch in Italy

The theft of expensive watches has become the “anthit” of tourist Italy this summer. The victims of robbers are actors, athletes, businessmen and ordinary travelers. It gets ridiculous: in Naples, a couple of thieves stole a watch from a Swiss tourist, but then returned it, realizing that it was a fake.


Theft of expensive watches in tourist cities is one of the most discussed topics in the Italian press. There have never been as many incidents as this summer.

A case that happened in Naples in June with the French actor Daniel Otoy received loud publicity: two attackers on scooters managed to remove a Patek Philippe watch worth 39 thousand euros (more than 2 million rubles) from the Frenchman’s hand through the open window of a taxi. . Also among the celebrities who were left without watches in Naples, Rome, Milan, Venice, there are football players, race car drivers, pop stars.

According to Italian media reports, watch thefts are most often carried out by groups of people from North Africa: criminals deftly move on scooters and light motorcycles, and the victim has no chance of catching them.

Most often, having noticed a tourist a luxury watch, he is watched, and at the first opportunity they rip him off. For example, when the victim is walking down the street and talking on the phone, or, like Otoy, they are driving relaxed in a car with their hand with a watch out the window.

Given that it is very hot in Italy this summer, tourists often open the windows in cars, sticking their hands out of them. A few minutes, and that's it: the victim, taken by surprise, does not have time to react or get out of the car to chase the thieves.


Sometimes attackers are still detained: in Milan, they caught a serial robber who specialized in stealing luxury watches. He acted like this: he attacked the tourists from behind, knocking them down, and while people were trying to understand what had happened, he tore off the watches from their wrists. At least the police established the fact of three attacks: the cost of each stolen pair of watches exceeded 200,000 euros.

Among other ways to steal an expensive accessory is the tourist card trick. This scheme is most popular in Rome. The strategy is quite simple: with a tourist map in hand, thieves approach a tourist in pairs or groups, asking for directions or directions. While the victim is trying to help, money and watches are quietly stolen from her.

Another trick of thieves is to ask them to write the name of the street. So they robbed a 62-year-old tourist, who was approached with such a proposal on the street by a pretty woman.

As soon as the man complied with her request, the lady thanked him and left, but took his expensive Rolex at the same time. When the man realized that his watch “disappeared into thin air”, he contacted the police. But the fraudster was never found.

Finally, one “fashionable method” to steal a watch in Italy is the “hug”: it is mainly applied to the elderly. They are approached by young women who, pretending to be old acquaintances, suddenly hug them, taking them by surprise, take off their watches.

It is not uncommon for tourists to lose their watches while shopping. So, an Iranian businessman in the Passarella gallery in Milan was “taken away” with a Hublot watch worth 6,000 euros. In Venice, thieves quietly removed a Richard Mille watch worth 700 thousand euros from a 58-year-old Italian citizen who was choosing souvenirs in a local shop.

By the way, not only expensive watches are stolen, but also mobile phones. A tourist from Sweden lost her iPhone during a live broadcast she hosted for her subscribers in Naples. Everything turned out to be too fast: an unknown person rushed past her on a scooter and snatched the phone out of his hands.


Italian thieves, by the way, are very picky. An illustrative case recently occurred all in the same Naples. Shortly before midnight, two tourists were sitting in a cafe in the busy Trieste and Trento square, where a robber approached them and demanded at gunpoint that one of them hand over his watch.

A few minutes later, another member of the gang appeared , who returned the watch to the frightened owner and apologized. As it turned out, the robbers thought that the tourist had an expensive Richard Mille watch worth several hundred thousand dollars. In fact, the Swiss guest was wearing a budget Chinese replica, and the thieves realized this almost immediately, as soon as they examined the booty.

But how not to make money on such a phenomenon? To protect tourists from street thefts, the president of the local association of tour operators, Cesare Foa, even suggested that tourists in Naples replace their expensive accessories on vacation with local branded plastic watches (which he was going to sell them).

According to the expert, such an alternative will become an unusual souvenir if you apply the symbols of the Campagna region, the capital of which is Naples, to a plastic watch. Such a memorable “gift”, of course, will not be free: they will ask for at least 10 euros for it.

Elena Myagkova

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *