On the 30th of January 2020, a brutal raid of an Audemars Piguet took place in Brussels. It was when Mrs. D. arrived on her driveway that evening, that two hoodie-dressed criminals jumped off the roof of the house on the driveway and seemed to make a run for it. Mrs. D. immediately wanted to verify if anything was stolen and ran to her front door. It was at that moment that the two offenders appeared again in front of her and a dreadful fight started…
Robbery of an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Skeleton
Mrs. D. first ran back to her car to hide inside, but the two managed to open the passenger door. They both hit Mrs. D. as hard as they could and tried to steal her watch from her wrist. Mrs. D. defended herself as much as possible, but the two thieves dragged her out of the car, threw her on the driveway, and hit her in the head with a crowbar. Mrs. D. lost consciousness for a few seconds and the two thieves managed to rip off the luxury piece of her wrist… an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Pink Gold Skeleton.
Mrs. D. managed to get up, got back in her car, and drove backward off her driveway. Out on the street, a third offender was waiting in a getaway car. A small car chase took place, but sadly Mrs. D. lost the offenders.
Police investigation – DNA
Under the supervision of a Brussels investigative judge, the police launched an investigation. Nothing emerged from cell tower research or public camera research… Both the getaway car and the license plate had been stolen in the south of Belgium a few months earlier.
Mrs. D., remarkable as she was, looked to have ripped a bit of one of the robbers’ gloves during her fight. Surprisingly, the DNA was later found in a Belgian database… under four other identities. The thief was a serial criminal who had previously identified himself to the police in different ways each time he was apprehended. Later, the police discovered his genuine identity and he was prosecuted in his absence at the Brussels Court. Sadly, the identity of the two others was never discovered.
Conviction by the Criminal Court of Brussels
The Belgium Criminal Court in Brussels convicted the man in his absence to 4 years of prison. The facts were severe and showed very little respect for society. Mrs. D. reported the crime to her insurance company and got partly paid out for her loss. She claimed damages in Court for the remaining balance and physical damages, which amount the Court confirmed in her verdict. The verdict was published internationally.
A few months later, during a routine road check, Spanish police captured the convicted thief almost 1300 kilometers away in Spain. The criminal was extradited to Belgium to fulfill his punishment, but he contested his conviction almost immediately. This implies that the trial was conducted again, this time entirely in his “presence.” The thief did not appear in court since he was in prison, and his lawyer was sent to represent him.
It didn’t make any difference… The Court of Brussels later upheld the prior decision and sentenced him to four years in jail.
Paying of damages…
Little by little the offender started to pay peanuts to Mrs. D. The only reason, therefore, is probably to try and convince the Sentence Court later for good behavior and an early release. Meanwhile, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Pink Gold Skeleton has nowhere been found and tripled its market value.
This blog post was for Mr. Verept, founder of Stolen-Watches.com, lawyer, and defender of Mrs. D., a heavy case that showed the strengths and the weaknesses of our current justice system. The Police, the Prosecutor, and the Judges, all try their very best, but the damages have been done and will never be restored fully.
The stolen Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Pink Gold Skeleton is still out there
Almost four years later Mrs. D.’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Pink Gold Skeleton is still missing somewhere out there. The watch has been reported stolen with Audemars Piguet and listed on Stolen-Watches.com. Let us hope for a proper reunion in the future.
The current blog post was written with the entire agreement and support of Mrs. D.