May 4, 1998
Thieves hit Country Village watch dealer for $655
by Michelle Liu
A Bothell antique watch dealer is stuck with a $655 loss. Four of Chip Colby's watches were stolen from a display case at the Country Village in Bothell either on April 20 or 21 during the day. The four most expensive watches in the display were stolen and a dozen other watches valued at $100 or less were left behind. Although there have been problems with teenage thieves in the past, Colby doesn't think it was a novice thief this time. "It was probably a professional. If it were teenagers they would load their pockets, but they knew exactly what they were doing," Colby said. Colby said a generic key must have been used to open the lock because the display case was not damaged.
Thefts from the display cases have been a problem for the Country Village in the past and locks are changed frequently. He theorized the thieves may buy a large quantity of locks with accompanying keys, hoping some of the keys would fit other locks. Colby keeps a detailed inventory of his merchandise including photos and serial numbers which could be helpful in identifying the stolen items, especially if they are sold to a pawn shop.
Capt. Bob Woolverton of the Bothell Police Department said all pawn shops need to submit information about the items that they buy from people. The information is entered into the National Crime Information Center, where police stations across the nation can access the information. "If the thieves intend to use the watches as personal property we probably can't recover them. But if they pawn them,we probably can. It just depends on what the criminal does," Woolverton said.
Colby said he doesn't know how to react to this incident. "It's difficult to describe how you feel about someone brazenly stealing from a public place in broad daylight," Colby said.