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Cops’ theory about $2m luxury watch heist

COVID MELBOURNE
A thief dressed in black and a high-vis vest was able to smash his way into a luxury store and make off with about $2m worth of watches. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ David Crosling.

A heist worth about $2m stolen from one of Australia’s largest shopping centres may have been an inside job.

Police are searching for the thief behind the expensive haul of luxury watches from the Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne over the weekend.

It’s understood a man wearing a black outfit, a mask and an orange high-vis jacket entered the complex at about 3am on Sunday, managing to break through security and make off with watches worth tens of thousands of dollars.

As reported by 7 News, the masked burglar accessed the centre via a loading dock at the rear of the 185,000sq m shopping complex.

Level 3 of Chadstone Shopping Centre where a thief was able to take $2m in luxury watches. Picture: 7 News
Level 3 of Chadstone Shopping Centre where a thief was able to take $2m in luxury watches. Picture: 7 News
The thief entered from a loading dock. Picture: 7 News
The thief entered from a loading dock. Picture: 7 News

The thief was able to access the Kennedy store on level 3, smashing his way through cabinets and taking about 30 watches from brands including Rolex and Franck Muller.

It appears that the man knew exactly where he was going, how to get in and which products to take, leading police to suspect the person was familiar with the store.

There is no suggestion Kennedy staff were involved.

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The price for a Rolex watch varies significantly but often demands more than $10,000. Picture: Supplied
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Among the 30 watches stolen were luxury brand Franck Muller timepieces that can cost upwards of $4000. Photo: Supplied

To purchase a Rolex timepiece consumers have to wait years on a waitlist, with the resale value standing at above 50 per cent of the retail price.

The smash-and-grab lasted only four minutes and was captured on an extensive CCTV system overseeing the Chadstone Shopping Centre.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.