May 10, 2023
TOKYO – A trio wearing white masks to hide their faces broke into a luxury brand shop in the Ginza district of Chuo Ward, Tokyo, on Monday, according to investigative sources. The robbers allegedly stole more than 100 items from Quark Ginza 888, a Rolex watch specialty shop.
Later that day, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department arrested four male teenagers under suspicion of unlawfully entering a residential building at a location approximately 3 kilometers from the shop. The MPD is currently investigating their possible involvement in the robbery case.
According to sources, the robbers broke into the shop at around 6:15 p.m. Monday and threatened a clerk in his 30s at knifepoint, saying, “Get down or we’ll kill you.” They smashed showcases using crowbar-like objects and took more than 100 items, including Rolex watches. The robbers then fled the scene in a van that was parked in front of the shop. The clerk was uninjured.
The shop sells watches valued from ¥500,000 to ¥20 million and is located in an area lined with luxury brand shops. Many people were shopping in the vicinity or passing by at the time of the robbery.
According to an MPD official, police officers spotted the van used to make the getaway about 15 minutes after the robbery occurred. The van was found on a street in the Akasaka district of Minato Ward, Tokyo, approximately 3 kilometers west of the shop. The vehicle appeared to have been involved in an accident, and police found masks believed to have been used by the robbers on a nearby street.
Investigators searched the area and found four individuals who had entered the hallways and balconies of an apartment building located roughly 60 meters from the van. The trio that robbed the shop had been dressed all in black. None of the four at the apartment building wore such outfits, but police suspect they changed their clothes afterwards.
Officers arrested a 16-year-old, an 18-year-old high school student and two 19-year-olds who all reside in Yokohama, the MPD announced Tuesday. When the police asked them about the allegation of unlawfully entering the residential building in Akasaka, the high school student reportedly replied, “I don’t know,” while the other three admitted to the charge.
The van was rented and the license plate appears to have been replaced, according to sources. The MPD will search the seized van to see if the stolen items were left inside and will also analyze the smartphones confiscated from two of the four arrested suspects.