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That Viral “$2.4 Million Rolex Looting” Story? It Never Happened

On Monday, at three a.m., a Rolex retailer in downtown Manhattan was ransacked. The glass home windows have been smashed in, a vitrine constructed to elegantly show the world’s most interesting watches was shattered, and $2.four million of merchandise was reportedly stolen. Two suspects have been detained with stolen merchandise. Within the course of of constructing an arrest, a male officer fell via a glass door and tumbled down the steps. A police officer shared his harrowing description of the aftermath: “The Rolex retailer is empty. They stole like $2.four million in Rolexes.”

Or so went the model of occasions reported in The New York Put up on Monday night time.

Besides, for starters, there isn’t any “Rolex retailer” on Greene Avenue, because the Put up wrote. The shop in query is the New York department of Watches of Switzerland—a certified Rolex supplier, however by no stretch of the creativeness a Rolex retailer. On high of that, retailer representatives deny that something in any respect was stolen, and report that the harm was as a substitute very minimal. The discrepancy between the story and the denial is the topic of a tweet shared virtually 90,000 instances. The Put up didn’t reply to a request for remark.

The concept that even throughout regular circumstances $2.four million price of Rolex watches may have been stolen so simply from the Watches of Switzerland retailer is preposterous. Earlier than the coronavirus-related shutdown, Watches of Switzerland would take away watches from the ground and retailer them in a protected each night time. And since the shop hasn’t been open throughout the pandemic, there wasn’t even any merchandise within the retailer to start with. Watch obsessives additionally laughed at the concept Rolex, a model with restricted hard-to-find and purchase watches, would have $2.four million price of merchandise simply laying round.

In an e mail, David Hurley, Watches of Switzerland Group’s govt vice chairman, got here out strongly towards the story and the best way it’s getting used. “It’s unlucky that at a time like this, sure media retailers have been perpetuating a false narrative concerning the incident that occurred at our Watches of Switzerland Soho boutique throughout the early hours of Monday, June 1st,” he wrote. “First, it’s essential to notice that whereas Rolex is a model associate of ours, this isn’t a Rolex boutique. Second, the harm to the shop was minimal and consisted of some damaged home windows and smashed vitrines. Most significantly, and let me be very clear about this, no product was on show and completely no watches have been stolen.”

Even the Put up’s recounting of two individuals arrested and charged for burglarizing “within the fracas,” leaves out essential particulars. Just like the inconvenient undeniable fact that neither of the lads arrested…stole something from the shop. “[One suspect] was discovered to be in possession of clothes believed to have been faraway from different places and [the other] was not in possession of any stolen merchandise on the time of the arrest,” a consultant with the NYPD instructed GQ. The NYPD rep didn’t know the place the $2.four million determine got here from, including, “there’s a whole lot of misinformation in that [Put up] article itself.”

(The consultant additionally famous that the division didn’t have any document of the shop or its supervisor submitting a grievance report but. The truth that a grievance hasn’t are available in but just isn’t typical, in line with the consultant—however they added the knowledge could possibly be delayed “as a result of there are such a lot of places which can be being hit.”)

A narrative blaring the lack of such a gaudy quantity of merchandise appears to be of a bit with different questionable info peddled to color current protesters in a adverse gentle. Fox Information reported on looting and rioting that left a “path of destruction throughout American cities.” NYPD commissioner Dermot Shea instructed the outlet, when “it turned darkish, it turned ugly and it turned that means quick.” Shea additionally tweeted a picture of conspicuously pristine containers of bricks on road corners in New York, and accused “organized looters” for strategically inserting them there. (Each Fox Information and the New York Put up are owned by Rupert Murdoch’s Information Company.) Meghan McCain shared on Twitter that her neighborhood was “eviscerated and appears like a warzone,” later including that she had not been within the neighborhood to witness the scene herself.

Is it doable {that a} police officer wanting over an empty Watches of Switzerland, its home windows smashed in, may consider its stock was worn out? Totally doable. However with no formal grievance from the shop, it’s unclear the place that $2.four million determine got here from. Ultimately, even after the so-called “fracas” and “path of destruction,” it’s price noting that, regardless of panic-inducing studies about looting throughout Manhattan, issues aren’t wanting so grim on Greene Avenue: the Watches of Switzerland retailer was absolutely restored in a day and a half.

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