Police arrest two possibly involved with watch store heist

Two masked men made off with 40 to 50 watches from a Bristol Street store, then fled in a stolen car, police say.

August 02, 2011|By Imran Vittachi,

COSTA MESA — Two men who may have been involved in a Tuesday morning heist at a Costa Mesa watch store were arrested in Huntington Beach, officials said.

About 11:48 a.m., Costa Mesa police responded to a robbery alarm at the Watch Connection, 3033 Bristol St., where two suspects wearing ski masks had reportedly made off with 40 to 50 high-priced watches. Police said the suspects entered the store after smashing their way through the locked front door made of glass. They also smashed the glass display cases inside the store to get the items, according to a release issued late Tuesday by Costa Mesa police.

Police believe the noise made from the smashing may have been mistaken for gunshots.

Store employees spotted the masked men approaching the door, and moved to a back room to activate the alarm.

No one was injured during the robbery.

Police said the suspects were seen fleeing the scene in a stolen white Honda Accord. The car was later found abandoned, its engine still running, at a townhouse complex around the corner from the Watch Connection, on Randolph Avenue near Baker Street.


Another witness reported seeing a BMW leaving the general area at a high rate of speed. Plainclothes officers followed the BMW along westbound Adams Ave and contacted Huntington Beach police to help them intercept and stop the car.

The BMW's two occupants were "initially arrested for suspicion of robbery as part of this investigation," the release said. It noted that two airsoft replica handguns were found with them.

One of the suspects was taken into custody and booked on an outstanding arrest warrant for drug violations and for providing police with false information. The other subject was released pending further investigation.

When contacted by telephone, Det. Scott Stafford referred questions to Sgt. Ed Everett, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. Police Department public information officers also could not be reached.

Anyone with information related to the case is asked to contact Everett at (714) 754-5395 or Stafford at (714) 754-5363.


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