Cavendish Home Raid Highlights Dangers of Luxury Watch Ownership

NWC magazine has noted in the past that pro criminal gangs are targeting luxury watch owners.

Could be on the streets, at a golf club where East European women pretend to be collecting for charity, or at home, where raiders will often enter armed and ready to torture the occupants to get what they want. And what they want are Patek, Mille, Rolex, Hublot and more Swiss brand watches, all of which can be sold to successful criminals or dodgy mates, who don’t really care about box and paperwork – they ain’t taking them to an authorised dealer for a service.

Cyclist Mark Cavendish and his family were threatened with knives during a home raid in 2021 and the trial of those accused of being involved is underway.

In court evidence Peta Cavendish describes how she heard voices and then intruders attacked her husband Mark, punching him and threatening to stab him in front of their child. They stole two Mille watches, worth an estimated £700,000, plus some LV luggage, according to Cycling News. The raiders demanded that the safe was opened too.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks, but the pattern is generally the same; break in around the back of the house, use weapons, take watches, jewellery and anything luxury and re-sellable on the black market.


Obviously, be careful where you wear expensive watches and never brag on social media as many footballers do. NWC has covered several cases of footballers having watches stolen in the past and there is nothing to be gained for showing off your net worth on Instagram, TikTok or Twitter.

Secondly, tell people your watches are really fantastic fakes from Turkey, Thailand or somewhere else you have been on holiday.

Is it worth having a safe? Yes, but you really need something hidden under the ground floor or in a separate, hidden room, so that it isn’t visible to gang members who search wardrobes and garages or outbuildings, which are the usual locations for steel, fire resistant safes.

If you are travelling away from home for a week or more consider pawning your watches for a token amount; they are fully insured, photographed and usually held in a bank type vault, or industrial grade safe, by most reputable pawnbrokers.

If you live in a wealthy enclave cosider banding together with other property owners to pay for night time security patrols. This could deter some criminal gangs, or at least spot their spotters, who often use e-scooters or bicycles to prospect people, cars and houses.

Finally, don’t let staff like cleaners, babysitters, grounds maintenance staff or delivery persons see your watches. Wear something bland and worth well under a grand as a daily wristwatch.

Stay safe.


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