Center City Philadelphia

Police Make Arrests Connected to Recent Robberies of Watches

Police took three young men into custody who were inside a car in Rittenhouse Square Wednesday night after officers recognized them from earlier robberies involving Rolexes and other nice watches.

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What to Know

  • Three young men were taken into custody Wednesday after the car they were in matched a recent Rittenhouse-area Rolex robbery, Philadelphia police said.
  • Two of the men in the car were identified as the alleged armed robbers in a stickup in Point Breeze less than an hour earlier, police said.
  • In recent weeks, armed robbers have stolen expensive watches from people in different parts of Center City, Philadelphia.

Three young men were arrested in Center City Wednesday night in connection to a series of recent armed robberies targeting victims with Rolex watches in Center City and Old City, police said.

Two 19-year-olds and a 22-year-old were pulled over in a silver Lincoln MKZ near Rittenhouse Square at 17th and Locust streets after officers believed the car matched the same vehicle that was used in a Dec. 7 Rittenhouse-area gunpoint robbery.

In that stickup, two men hopped out of a Lincoln MKZ and robbed a man of his Rolex watch, police said.

Police connected one of the suspects in the car to that robbery. They connected to other two suspects to a robbery that took place less than an hour earlier, using another car.

“Last evening, three individuals were taken into custody by Philadelphia Police in connection to an armed robbery that had occurred earlier in the evening,” police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement Thursday. "At this time, we believe that at least one of these individuals was also involved in at least one of many similar gunpoint robberies that have occurred over the last several weeks in Center City Philadelphia."

Around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, two people were unloading furniture into their garage on South 19th Street near Wharton Street in the Point Breeze neighborhood when a dark-colored Subaru SUV stopped and reversed down the street toward them, investigators said.

Two guys with guns got out of the SUV, police said, one pointed his gun at the man's chest while the other walked toward the woman and told her "don't move," police said.

The robbers demanded the man's watch and cash. He handed over a Fossil watch and his cellphone, but stated he had no cash, police said.

The guys then got back in the SUV and fled. The license plate was then relayed to police officers.

After the arrests near Rittenhouse, the two victims from the Point Breeze armed robbery identified two of the men in the Lincoln -- the 22-year-old and one of the 19-year-olds -- as being the men who held them up, police said.

All three men in the Lincoln were taken into custody and the Lincoln was towed away pending a search warrant. The Subaru hasn't been found. Charges have yet to be filed. 

Among the recent armed robberies in the city was another Dec. 7 heist that took place in Center City along with a robbery that occurred in Old City on Saturday around 11:45 p.m. A 34-year-old man who had just gotten married was walking on South 3rd Street when two armed suspects exited an SUV. Both suspects stole the groom's Rolex watch at gunpoint before fleeing the scene. The victim was not injured.

During a news conference earlier in the week, officials revealed there have been more armed robberies this year than in the past two years with over 2,200.

"We have seen a number of disturbing incidents recently and robberies are up significantly this year compared to last year when they were down," Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said.

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