Watch theft

What's your take on all this watch theft? Kinda sad you can't wear your watch for the fear of being mugged. Sometimes it's better to wear brands that thieves don't know. IWC, Zenith, Moser, Grand Seiko, etc...

https://timeandtidewatches.com/the-changing-reality-of-wearing-a-watch-in-new-york-city/

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Lots of threads and differing opinions, but the facts are crime is largely at an all time low and I’ve worn my watches everywhere including most of downtown NYC last week. Never had a concern over the 2 1/2 mile area I walked.

The reason watches getting stolen is suddenly getting headlines is when people who are struggling to heat their homes and buy food, the idea that someone spending a year or more worth of money on jewelry is unfathomable to most and whether we like it or not, some people relish the idea of rich people getting their comeuppance. It’s a cheap and easy headline, because fear sells.

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AllTheWatches

Lots of threads and differing opinions, but the facts are crime is largely at an all time low and I’ve worn my watches everywhere including most of downtown NYC last week. Never had a concern over the 2 1/2 mile area I walked.

The reason watches getting stolen is suddenly getting headlines is when people who are struggling to heat their homes and buy food, the idea that someone spending a year or more worth of money on jewelry is unfathomable to most and whether we like it or not, some people relish the idea of rich people getting their comeuppance. It’s a cheap and easy headline, because fear sells.

Bingo. Most of our problems in the world are amplified by the media to drive clicks to their websites. 

Not saying the problems don't exist, but these are overblown.

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I was visiting London in June of this year, stayed at a Hilton near Paddington Station. The hotel staff advised me to either leave my Omega Seamaster World timer in the hotel safe or coverup with a long sleeve. I took their advice and changed from T-shirt to long sleeves.

These types of crimes are crimes of opportunity, if you deny these criminals the opportunity to target you, you should be fine. My understanding is most of these crimes are to finance a drug habit these criminals are on, not so that they can heat their homes or feed their kids. 

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watchdawg

I was visiting London in June of this year, stayed at a Hilton near Paddington Station. The hotel staff advised me to either leave my Omega Seamaster World timer in the hotel safe or coverup with a long sleeve. I took their advice and changed from T-shirt to long sleeves.

These types of crimes are crimes of opportunity, if you deny these criminals the opportunity to target you, you should be fine. My understanding is most of these crimes are to finance a drug habit these criminals are on, not so that they can heat their homes or feed their kids. 

Yes, they are crimes of opportunity, but the coverage is for those who can’t relate. Two distinct discussions.

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Be safe than sorry. I feel safe in my regular route to work and I take public transport. However, when there any change to my regular routine, I either wear full sleeves or a cheaper watch. I wear watches for my own enjoyment and not for others. I can defend myself in most situation but don’t want to take chances with a motivated thief. 

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AllTheWatches

Lots of threads and differing opinions, but the facts are crime is largely at an all time low and I’ve worn my watches everywhere including most of downtown NYC last week. Never had a concern over the 2 1/2 mile area I walked.

The reason watches getting stolen is suddenly getting headlines is when people who are struggling to heat their homes and buy food, the idea that someone spending a year or more worth of money on jewelry is unfathomable to most and whether we like it or not, some people relish the idea of rich people getting their comeuppance. It’s a cheap and easy headline, because fear sells.

Yes and no.

Crime has put food on my table for more than 30 years: I defend and have prosecuted thousands of people accused (usually correctly) of committing crimes.

Crime is nowhere near historical highs in American cities.  The late 1980's and early 1990's were nothing like today. Crime is also not near record lows, these occurred in most places about five years ago. Crime is also not uniformly up in major cities.  Some places have seen an enormous spike in homicides while property crimes have remained constant near historical lows.

"If it bleeds, it leads" is an old adage in the news business.  Bad new sells more than good news. That is nothing new.  What is new is the prevalence of surveillance cameras that allow us to watch the crime occur.  We got to see thieves take a Hublot a few months back. Video allows very local stories to be international through the internet.

If you peruse your local pawn shop you will likely see the evidence of property theft.  Watches and jewelry will be well represented.  Usually, they were not taken in a smash and grab on the street. Rather, it was the painter or cleaning person who had access to your home and took something that you did not notice.

These watch robbery stories are reflective of a new trend.  The outrageous spike in prices has attracted a new interest from thieves.  However, these anecdotes are just data points that do not reflect the sort of trend that would have me only wear a beater out in a city.

Lastly, rising prices for energy and food do not cause crime. Criminals cause crime. A small number of persons cause a great percentage of crime, either property crime or violent crime. Looking for "root causes" is a fool's errand. Sociopathy can't be fixed with a government program. We will learn in the coming years that "bail reform" can be linked (even I hesitate to say "cause") to a rise in crime because the same offenders remain in positions where they can offend and reoffend.

Crime fell for almost thirty years.  We really don't know why. Crime is increasing, albeit at a slower pace. We really don't know why. When we figure it out we will have already made mistakes in trying to fix the problem. Variables will be overlooked and ignored.

Just wear your watches. If they are worth anything, insure them.

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Aurelian

Yes and no.

Crime has put food on my table for more than 30 years: I defend and have prosecuted thousands of people accused (usually correctly) of committing crimes.

Crime is nowhere near historical highs in American cities.  The late 1980's and early 1990's were nothing like today. Crime is also not near record lows, these occurred in most places about five years ago. Crime is also not uniformly up in major cities.  Some places have seen an enormous spike in homicides while property crimes have remained constant near historical lows.

"If it bleeds, it leads" is an old adage in the news business.  Bad new sells more than good news. That is nothing new.  What is new is the prevalence of surveillance cameras that allow us to watch the crime occur.  We got to see thieves take a Hublot a few months back. Video allows very local stories to be international through the internet.

If you peruse your local pawn shop you will likely see the evidence of property theft.  Watches and jewelry will be well represented.  Usually, they were not taken in a smash and grab on the street. Rather, it was the painter or cleaning person who had access to your home and took something that you did not notice.

These watch robbery stories are reflective of a new trend.  The outrageous spike in prices has attracted a new interest from thieves.  However, these anecdotes are just data points that do not reflect the sort of trend that would have me only wear a beater out in a city.

Lastly, rising prices for energy and food do not cause crime. Criminals cause crime. A small number of persons cause a great percentage of crime, either property crime or violent crime. Looking for "root causes" is a fool's errand. Sociopathy can't be fixed with a government program. We will learn in the coming years that "bail reform" can be linked (even I hesitate to say "cause") to a rise in crime because the same offenders remain in positions where they can offend and reoffend.

Crime fell for almost thirty years.  We really don't know why. Crime is increasing, albeit at a slower pace. We really don't know why. When we figure it out we will have already made mistakes in trying to fix the problem. Variables will be overlooked and ignored.

Just wear your watches. If they are worth anything, insure them.

Thanks for the insights. I realize a few years ago it was lowest, but still near historic lows with a long term lookback. To your point it has fallen dramatically over 30 years and we can debate the reasons why, including improved surveillance tech, better economic conditions, etc.

To my earlier point I was trying to make; I wasn’t intentionally trying to tie rising costs to crime, more specifically what attracts media attention. If folks are struggling at home and see rich people being robbed stories on the news, it makes for an easy if it bleeds it leads story as you mentioned.  Which to me are two distinct topics, but certainly feed each other.

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In a forum of watch nerds, it’s still relatively rare. Also, there’s little indication that the watches stolen were because the watch itself created the target. Get insurance. Wear long sleeves. Carpe diem.

https://www.watchcrunch.com/Bobofet/posts/have-you-personally-had-a-watch-stolen-off-of-your-wrist-14072

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I'm fortunate. I have a couple of watches that I love, like my Sinn 104, that no street thug would ever pay any attention to. I really don't feel like I'm making a compromise when I wear them. If I know I'm going to be somewhere that could be the least bit sketchy, I just wear those. For me, it's like any other watch selection I make in the morning -  swimming? diver. Physical activity/working on the house? beater. Dinner out? dress watch. Unknown? Sinn. 

I have lived in the city for many years. Crime is high here. I feel like I've got some pretty good street smarts. Situational awareness goes a long way to avoiding being a victim. 

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Aurelian

Yes and no.

Crime has put food on my table for more than 30 years: I defend and have prosecuted thousands of people accused (usually correctly) of committing crimes.

Crime is nowhere near historical highs in American cities.  The late 1980's and early 1990's were nothing like today. Crime is also not near record lows, these occurred in most places about five years ago. Crime is also not uniformly up in major cities.  Some places have seen an enormous spike in homicides while property crimes have remained constant near historical lows.

"If it bleeds, it leads" is an old adage in the news business.  Bad new sells more than good news. That is nothing new.  What is new is the prevalence of surveillance cameras that allow us to watch the crime occur.  We got to see thieves take a Hublot a few months back. Video allows very local stories to be international through the internet.

If you peruse your local pawn shop you will likely see the evidence of property theft.  Watches and jewelry will be well represented.  Usually, they were not taken in a smash and grab on the street. Rather, it was the painter or cleaning person who had access to your home and took something that you did not notice.

These watch robbery stories are reflective of a new trend.  The outrageous spike in prices has attracted a new interest from thieves.  However, these anecdotes are just data points that do not reflect the sort of trend that would have me only wear a beater out in a city.

Lastly, rising prices for energy and food do not cause crime. Criminals cause crime. A small number of persons cause a great percentage of crime, either property crime or violent crime. Looking for "root causes" is a fool's errand. Sociopathy can't be fixed with a government program. We will learn in the coming years that "bail reform" can be linked (even I hesitate to say "cause") to a rise in crime because the same offenders remain in positions where they can offend and reoffend.

Crime fell for almost thirty years.  We really don't know why. Crime is increasing, albeit at a slower pace. We really don't know why. When we figure it out we will have already made mistakes in trying to fix the problem. Variables will be overlooked and ignored.

Just wear your watches. If they are worth anything, insure them.

Dude...

  • We do know why crime fell and why it's rising again, but we're not allowed to talk about it...  both here on WC and in wider society.  If you do talk about causes, you'll get cancelled - I know, because every time I open my mouth and begin to talk about this stuff, my wife reacts in horror and makes me shut up, before I alienate all of our community members!
  • This is already putting me on thin ice, but at the ~30:50 mark in this podcast (https://freakonomics.com/series/people-i-mostly-admire/), Steven Levitt talks about a study in which the researchers survey prisoners in Wisconsin and ask each prisoner "In a typical year, when you're not in prison, how many non-drug crimes do you commit?"  Obviously, survey data is not ideal, but it's revealing in terms of median versus average.  Median:  12.  Average:  141.  To your point, the vast majority of crimes are committed by a vanishingly small number of criminals.  And the amazing thing is that our entire universe has these kinds of crazy pareto distributions!  
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How true is it that when a watch is really expensive (I mean a lot $$$) Insurers don't take responsibility for a stolen watch unless it is in a bank inside a safe?

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Aurelian

Yes and no.

Crime has put food on my table for more than 30 years: I defend and have prosecuted thousands of people accused (usually correctly) of committing crimes.

Crime is nowhere near historical highs in American cities.  The late 1980's and early 1990's were nothing like today. Crime is also not near record lows, these occurred in most places about five years ago. Crime is also not uniformly up in major cities.  Some places have seen an enormous spike in homicides while property crimes have remained constant near historical lows.

"If it bleeds, it leads" is an old adage in the news business.  Bad new sells more than good news. That is nothing new.  What is new is the prevalence of surveillance cameras that allow us to watch the crime occur.  We got to see thieves take a Hublot a few months back. Video allows very local stories to be international through the internet.

If you peruse your local pawn shop you will likely see the evidence of property theft.  Watches and jewelry will be well represented.  Usually, they were not taken in a smash and grab on the street. Rather, it was the painter or cleaning person who had access to your home and took something that you did not notice.

These watch robbery stories are reflective of a new trend.  The outrageous spike in prices has attracted a new interest from thieves.  However, these anecdotes are just data points that do not reflect the sort of trend that would have me only wear a beater out in a city.

Lastly, rising prices for energy and food do not cause crime. Criminals cause crime. A small number of persons cause a great percentage of crime, either property crime or violent crime. Looking for "root causes" is a fool's errand. Sociopathy can't be fixed with a government program. We will learn in the coming years that "bail reform" can be linked (even I hesitate to say "cause") to a rise in crime because the same offenders remain in positions where they can offend and reoffend.

Crime fell for almost thirty years.  We really don't know why. Crime is increasing, albeit at a slower pace. We really don't know why. When we figure it out we will have already made mistakes in trying to fix the problem. Variables will be overlooked and ignored.

Just wear your watches. If they are worth anything, insure them.

Crime has put food on my table for more than 30 years..

Image

I defend and have prosecuted thousands of people accused (usually correctly) of committing crimes.

Ah, okay... 😄

But I agree, from a historical perspective crime is not rampant. But people are largely sensitive to the trend, the perception whether it gets better or worse.

That being said, I wouldn't wear a watch where I would consider carrying a firearm. In all other places I'm not too concerned about my watch.

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AllTheWatches

Thanks for the insights. I realize a few years ago it was lowest, but still near historic lows with a long term lookback. To your point it has fallen dramatically over 30 years and we can debate the reasons why, including improved surveillance tech, better economic conditions, etc.

To my earlier point I was trying to make; I wasn’t intentionally trying to tie rising costs to crime, more specifically what attracts media attention. If folks are struggling at home and see rich people being robbed stories on the news, it makes for an easy if it bleeds it leads story as you mentioned.  Which to me are two distinct topics, but certainly feed each other.

Interestingly, to me at least, it is unlikely that the reasons you listed for the decrease in crime rates have caused any significant effect. I will list three that have been studied and I believe have merit: increased incarceration, access to abortion, and removal of lead from environments. When we try to sort out which had which effect it gets tangled. Lead in the environment suppressed IQ's and impulse control. Abortion removed an entire cohort of the seemingly permanent underclass. Increased incarceration rates keep real criminals out of society. Of those three, only removing lead from paint and gasoline, did not also come with serious drawbacks.

Crime and incarceration are much higher in the U.S. than in other parts of the world. There are cultural reasons for this. Americans are truly a weird group by world standards. The outliers in terms of aggression and entrepreneurship have immigrated here since colonial times. There are studies indicating that the modern levels of Swedish social cohesion are in part because their oddballs immigrated here. I was only half joking when I called us ornery in a comment to @Velomax 's post about taxation. (The increasingly acrimonious comments there kind of underline my point. Those of us from New Jersey don't take s*** from anyone. Which of you really thought that he was going to back down and play nice?)

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Wearing a high end watch in society is a big "look at me sign" unfortunately bad people will notice that. Flip your watch to the inside of your wrist or wear long sleeves. The thieves have been following Hodinkee and will know your worth to them. A rolex is a free 10 grand to them for 30 seconds of aggression 

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HotWatchChick69

Dude...

  • We do know why crime fell and why it's rising again, but we're not allowed to talk about it...  both here on WC and in wider society.  If you do talk about causes, you'll get cancelled - I know, because every time I open my mouth and begin to talk about this stuff, my wife reacts in horror and makes me shut up, before I alienate all of our community members!
  • This is already putting me on thin ice, but at the ~30:50 mark in this podcast (https://freakonomics.com/series/people-i-mostly-admire/), Steven Levitt talks about a study in which the researchers survey prisoners in Wisconsin and ask each prisoner "In a typical year, when you're not in prison, how many non-drug crimes do you commit?"  Obviously, survey data is not ideal, but it's revealing in terms of median versus average.  Median:  12.  Average:  141.  To your point, the vast majority of crimes are committed by a vanishingly small number of criminals.  And the amazing thing is that our entire universe has these kinds of crazy pareto distributions!  

When I was a prosecutor in New Orleans in the 1990's we figured that each automobile burglar committed 20 break-ins for every time that he was caught.  For residences it was closer to 10-12 per arrest. For violent crime like armed robbery the ratio was more like 5-6 to one.

A frightening fact about violent crimes like armed robbery and aggravated rape is that they give an adrenaline rush. Bored young men are attracted to them like roller coasters.