4 suspects accused of stealing Charles Leclerc’s watch are in custody

Several Italian police departments joined forces to arrest four suspects linked to a series of thefts, including a high-end watch taken from Formula One driver Charles Leclerc. Footage captured by surveillance cameras suggests Leclerc played a role in tracking them down.

Leclerc’s watch — which is described as being manufactured by “a prestigious Swiss company” and having “a very high value” — was stolen on April 18, 2022, in Viareggio, a town on Italian’s Mediterranean coast. It took almost a year for members of the Carabinieri, which is Italy’s military police force, to catch up with the suspects. Law enforcement officials brought three men and a woman into custody this month.

Police officers were able to piece together how the heist happened by watching footage from public and private surveillance cameras and by interviewing witnesses. They explain that two of the suspects posed as fans and asked Leclerc for a photo. After he agreed, they took the watch, drove off on a scooter, and gave the stolen item to two accomplices traveling in an Opel Mokka rented from the Naples airport. The two people in the car also trailed Leclerc from Forte dei Marmi to Viareggio, and they prevented him from chasing the scooter after the theft.

The extent of Leclerc’s involvement isn’t clear. Footage published by the Carabinieri shows Leclerc driving a black Ferrari 488 over a bridge and being followed by the Mokka, so it doesn’t look like he chased them down “Italian Job”-style. He also drives past the crossover after the scooter riders handed over the watch, and at one point in the video he pulls over to let the Opel drive past him. Whether he knew the people in it were involved in the theft hasn’t been clarified by investigators. If he did, he may have provided police with the car’s registration number. 

What’s certain, according to the Carabinieri, is that Leclerc wasn’t the only target that evening. Two of the four people taken into custody are also suspected of trying to steal a watch worth €40,000 (about $43,700 at the current conversion rate) from an Italian couple in Forte dei Marmi on the same evening that the pilot’s watch was taken. They weren’t as lucky that time: They ran off without the watch, either because the victim fought back or because someone walking past broke up the fight. Officers are still trying to determine precisely what happened.

The four suspects were put in jail while they wait for their trial. In the meantime, investigators searched their residences and found evidence linking them to yet another watch theft in Forte dei Marmi. In August 2021, two individuals approached a French tourist with a pistol and stole a watch worth €80,000 (around $87,300) after firing blank shots into the air. The search also uncovered two high-end watches whose provenance “couldn’t be justified,” though it’s unclear whether one belongs to Leclerc, and roughly €23,000 (approximately $25,200) in cash.

Source link

Related post

    Leave a Comment