EXCLUSIVE: Men with luxury watches including $ 30,000 Rolex targeted in Oakland, other heists in Bay Area

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OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) – A number of brazen thefts are documented in the Bay Area, involving expensive watches being pulled straight from people’s wrists. Two victims speak out in hopes of making their communities safer.

“We are extremely lucky that we weren’t shot, that we weren’t hospitalized, that we weren’t killed,” said a 59-year-old man who asked that we only call him Raymond.

Removing a bandage, Raymond shows his swollen and cut knee. He also shows marks on his hands and the stain on his head.

“We are extremely lucky not to have been shot, not to have been hospitalized, not to have been killed.”

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Raymond suffered these injuries during the fear of his life last Saturday while on his way to the dentist at 9th and Jackson in Oakland. While feeding the parking meter, he says a man approached, demanding his watch.

“Immediately he pulled up his shirt and showed me his 9mm tucked inside his shirt. At that point I panicked, screamed for help and ran in. the street. My wife tried to save me by pulling on her pants. “

Raymond was whipped by a pistol and his $ 30,000 Rolex ripped off his wrist within seconds.

“I didn’t expect this to happen to me, especially in broad daylight,” he says.

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Raymond remembers a young man kicking his attacker before the man fled in a waiting Infinity sedan.

“It was scary… I don’t wish that would happen to anyone,” Raymond says as his wife and daughter watch in support.

This isn’t the only watch theft to have occurred in the Bay Area in recent weeks. Police sources in different parts of the Bay Area told ABC7’s Dion Lim that they believe there has been an increase in watch thefts.

Just a day before Raymond’s incident, a man who only wants to be identified as John had his Movado stolen in front of the Cheesecake Factory in the Valley Fair Mall.

“I was taken aback by two men behind me. One put me in a choke… and knocked me to the ground,” John said via Zoom audio.

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In this case, the suspects appear to be accelerating in an expensive dark gray Mercedes with a matte finish.

Perhaps most dramatically, an Indonesian couple had a $ 100,000 Richard Mille watch stolen in San Francisco in October. Surveillance video used in the police investigation shows two men approaching the couple in a car rental center, guns drawn.

Because no surveillance video was available in Raymond’s case, only a blurry photo taken by a passer-by, Raymond wants his story to inspire others to make a difference in the community.

Raymond decided to call it the “three Ps” … “Protect our community, so the community can thrive afterwards. Only then can we prevent the problem, protect the citizens, so we can continue. our life.”

Raymond cites help from a nearby security patrol who responded immediately after the incident and called 9-1-1. Oakland police, he said, arrived a minute later.

“I’m sorry for the local business community, so I want to do everything I can to help so that this doesn’t happen again,” says Raymond.

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Other efforts to help increase safety in Oakland include the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce’s partnership with Verkada, to provide security cameras around Oakland. Some have already been set up in areas where attacks have taken place, such as the incident where Speaker of the House Carl Chan was pushed to the ground in Alice and 9th.

Volunteer groups like Compassion in Oakland have partnered with local businesses like Third Culture Bakery in Berkeley to donate pepper spray and personal alarms. These items were then turned into safety kits.

Others, like an entrepreneur from Milpitas, have also rallied to buy air horns for Oakland merchants. A young woman also independently raised more than $ 30,000 to purchase more security cameras for areas in and around Oakland’s Chinatown.

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Raymond says others have told him he should stop going to the dentist he has been attending for 30 years. Although he hopes that with the community’s efforts to install more cameras and implement other safety measures, the neighborhood can be safer and he can see the same dentist again.

“We don’t want to kill our businesses because everyone is afraid to go out, so no one is going to local restaurants and the dentist.” Raymond said.

You can read more about the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce’s security efforts here.

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