Believes Foreigners Were Behind Watch Store Heist - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Believes Foreigners Were Behind Watch Store Heist

Believes Foreigners Were Behind Watch Store Heist

Published October 21, 2011

A professor of criminology at the University of Iceland believes that the suspects in a recent heist were foreigners, in part because the robbery was too well planned for Icelanders to have committed.
The watch store Michelsen was robbed in broad daylight earlier this week, the suspects holding staff at gunpoint and robbing millions of crowns’ worth of watches. One of the suspects is shown in the photo above. They are as yet still at large.
Helgi Gunnlaugsson, a professor of criminology at the University of Iceland, believes this robbery was committed by foreigners, in large part because when Icelanders commit armed robbery, their methods are not well though out.
“Robberies in Iceland are committed with little planning,” he told Pressan. “The suspects are usually young men, one or two usually, armed with knives. An escape plan is seldom thought out. The reason [for the robbery] is first and foremost to keep the party going longer, and it usually comes to light that they were drunk or on drugs.”
The robbery at Michelsen, by contrast, was clearly planned out well ahead of time. “These were professionals,” he said. “It wasn’t their first robbery and likely won’t be their last.”
He also believes the suspects were foreigners because – as one pointed a gun at staff to lay on the floor while two others bagged Rolexes – they were speaking English to each other. While conceding that it is possible they were Icelanders speaking English to each other, he believes they were probably foreigners with a local knowledge of the country, or at least the immediate area.
There is almost no black market for stolen watches in Iceland, so it is likely that the suspects will try to take them out of the country, if they have not already done so.

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