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After Long NY Robbery Spree, High End Watch Bandits Busted

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By: Rusty Brooks

A pair of brazen thieves who targeted jewelry stores and sought out fine watches as loot, have finally been busted after 11 robberies and a crime spree that lasted over a year.

Victor Rivera, 30, and Johan Araujo, 40, mostly targeted jewelers selling expensive brands like Richard Mille, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Patek Philippe, prosecutors said. The pair are accused of 11 robberies or attempted robberies between October 2019 and November 2020. In some of the robberies, Rivera allegedly used a gun, the officer reported.

The NY Post reported: In total, Rivera stole more than $2 million in merchandise — and Araujo helped him in several robberies in which they grabbed more than $400,000 worth of goods, according to the fed.

“As alleged in the Indictment, the defendants committed a series of armed robberies and attempted robberies of jewelers and other owners of luxury watches in and around New York City,”Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said.

“Thanks to the outstanding work of the NYPD and special agents of our office, time ran out on the defendants, who now face federal charges for their alleged crimes.”

The most valuable belonging that the duo was robbed of was a Richard Mille watch worth over $500,000 from a jeweler in Rego Park, Queens, prosecutors said. A stickup in Brooklyn yielded a Patek Philippe watch worth over $160,000 and a diamond necklace worth over $77,000, Daily News reported.

NY Post detailed:

In a January 2020 heist, Rivera and an unnamed co-conspirator robbed a jeweler in Rego Park, Queens, of a Richard Mille watch worth more than $500,000, prosecutors alleged.

Rivera showed a handgun to a number of his victims during the robberies — and in one instance shot a victim during a June 11, 2020, robbery in Brooklyn, prosecutors charged.

Rivera, who was previously charged in a separate case and is currently locked up, faces life in prison for his use of a gun in the watch robberies.

Araujo faces a maximum of 80 years in prison, NY Post reported.

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