‘Redeem and recover’ Rolex robbery at El Cajon jewelry store
EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) — Surveillance video shows two men fleeing with an expensive Rolex watch after an unusual robbery at an El Cajon jewelry store.
At around 3 p.m. Wednesday inside Ishtar Jewelry, two men entered with a very precise watch in mind. An hour earlier, they had called the store.
“They actually called ahead, asked if we had a specific model from Rolex,” store manager Thomas Toma said.
Toma says the men had confirmed over the phone that a green-dial diver’s watch, worth between $22,000 and $28,000, was in stock.
Toma says his sister retrieved the watch from a safe in the back and gave it to one of the men, who then asked for a microscope to inspect it.
As she retrieved it, the man holding the Rolex is seen reaching into his pocket for another item, which he placed in the display case just as she returned.
Around that time, one of the men started to leave.
“They said they were going to get their wallet from the car. They liked the watch,” Toma said.
Toma says sitting on that display case was what looked like a Rolex. It was the right model, but a fake.
“The second she sees the watch, she realizes it’s not the watch. She says, ‘Hey, excuse me.’ The second they heard it, they knew,” Toma said.
According to Toma, at the time, one of the men had been rushed through the secured door by another employee. He held the door open for the other man. The video shows the two men running towards their car, with employees right behind them. The men would flee.
“It’s terrible. You put your blood, sweat and tears into something, and people try to take it away from you in an instant,” Toma said.
Toma says that in the 16 years his family has owned the store, this is the first time he’s seen the “swap and grab” tactic.
“Tactical is just the easiest way to open this door. The door is not going to open without a watch being in front of us,” Toma said. “I think these guys are getting smarter. improve in what to do.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call El Cajon Police at (619) 579-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.