Vintage Rolex worth $49,000 stolen by man posing as buyer

SAN DIEGO – Four robberies in two weeks in the Mission Valley area have left residents looking over their shoulders.

“It’s really scary for the community,” said a shopper at Mission Center. “This is usually a safe zone over here.”

The latest robbery involving a man who had posted a listing on Chrono24.com, a website that helps watch owners find buyers. The victim told FOX 5 he found a man willing to buy his vintage Rolex for $49,000 and the two agreed to meet at a jewelry store in Mission Center to get the value of the watch authenticated.  But after he placed the watch on the counter, the victim says the other man grabbed it and ran.

“Several officers were working on this, and we had a helicopter in the air,” said Lieutenant Shawn Takeuchi, a spokesperson for San Diego police.

A search for the robber turned up no results, but the owner of the jewelry and watch store confirms to FOX 5 that they have surveillance of the theft and have handed it over to police.

“If it’s appropriate, ask for identification,” Lt. Takeuchi said of people meeting up after talking online about sales. “If they are coming in a vehicle, I don’t think it’s extremely out of the ordinary to ask for ID. If you have a cell phone, take a quick photo of that ID card.”

The robbery is the fourth in the Mission Valley area in the last two weeks. A couple was held up at gunpoint at a nearby apartment complex in March, and a couple days later, a woman was carjacked at Fashion Valley Mall. This past week, police say a man was held up in Hazard Center by two men with a shotgun.

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