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Elusive thieves

The week's news at a glance.

Washington, D.C.

The FBI last week appealed for the public’s help in catching as many as six jewel thieves in hooded sweatshirts who have snatched $5.1 million worth of men’s watches, bracelets, and rings from dozens of stores from New Hampshire to North Carolina. The robberies, which began more than two years ago, follow a distinct pattern. The thieves strike stores before they open, usually in malls that are close to major roads for a quick getaway. They cut the security gates and grab mostly men’s watches, especially what one investigator called “the poor man’s Rolex”—Movado watches, which have no serial number and can be resold for $500. The crew completes each robbery in about four minutes. “This isn’t luck,” one FBI official said. “You don’t do 56 robberies without being caught.”

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