In the aftermath of the Thursday afternoon robbery-turned-shooting at high-end Italian restaurant Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills, jeweler Shay Belhassen is offering a $50,000 reward for his stolen watch. A rose gold Richard Mille RM 11-03 Flyback Chronograph, Belhassen estimates it’s worth as much as $500,000.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Belhassen had just sat down at the restaurant when he witnessed three men dressed in hoodies coming his way.
“One of them ran and pulled a gun from his jacket pocket, grabbed me from the back of my chair, choking me and putting a gun to my head,” Belhassen told the Los Angeles Times on Friday. “His two friends — one of them is yanking my hand and the other is yanking at my watch.”
In the scuffle that ensued, Belhassen was able to obtain the weapon, which accidentally went off, grazing a woman in the leg who was transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
Belhassen said he was angered at the fact that similar crimes have been occurring in the area in recent weeks — few of which have gotten as much attention — and he doesn’t believe police are adequately handling the uptick in robberies near the Wilshire area targeting luxury watches.
However, in a statement released Saturday, Beverly Hills Police Department Chief Dominick Rivetti said law enforcement is staying vigilant in looking for suspects.
“I want the world to know that Beverly Hills is a very safe community,” Rivetti wrote. “We invest significantly in our police department to ensure our officers have every resources necessary to do their jobs effectively. We will be supplementing our personnel with armed, private security guards who will have a strong, visible presence in the City. We work closely with our businesses so that shoppers and restaurant guests feel comfortable and secure. And we are vigilant in investigating and bringing to justice those who make the grave mistake of committing crimes here.”