WATCH | Daylight Rolex heist: Shocking smash-and-grab robbery occurs at luxury Tokyo store

Four teenagers were detained on Monday (May 8) following a brazen daytime robbery at a Rolex (high-end watch) store in Tokyo’s Ginza neighbourhood, during which the masked robbers threatened the employees before breaking showcases and seizing the highly valuable products.

Three suspects entered the Quark Ginza 888 store at around 6:15 p.m. and threatened the workers with a knife before breaking into exhibits with tools resembling crowbars. They then fled in a rental car with the licence plate swapped, according to investigation sources, reported the Japan Times.

Police started investigating after spotting the getaway car travelling close to the National Diet Building in Chiyoda Ward at 6:29 p.m. The automobile continued on past the National Diet Building and the National Diet Library before turning towards the Akasaka-mitsuke crossroads. 

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The four suspects have admitted that they are strangers to one another, the Yomiuri daily reported. According to the report, the Metropolitan Police Department will examine the suspects’ devices and look into their relationships, including how they met.

All four suspects, according to the investigators, are Yokohama residents: a 16-year-old man who is unemployed, an 18-year-old high school student, and two 19-year-olds, one of whom works part-time and the other of whom has an unspecified job. While the other three suspects have admitted to the accusations, the high school student has refuted them.

Five employees were present at the time of the incident, but none were hurt, according to NHK world news. According to the broadcaster, authorities are looking into the likelihood that more than 100 high-end watches were stolen from the Ginza store and that there were further suspects involved because two people were reportedly waiting in the car when the event occurred, according to witnesses. A black bag with about 30 watches inside was discovered close to the getaway vehicle.

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Based on Article 61 of the juvenile code, which states that disclosing such information could hinder rehabilitation, the 16-year-old suspect’s name, address, and mugshot will not be made public.

The Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office has created a set of standards for evaluating whether to publicise the names of particular minors, with a focus on cases where the offence is serious and has a significant impact on society.

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