Watch out!

Any good society depends on a certain sense of trust between citizens, but at the same time we need to always be on guard against those who would exploit our kindness. It’s hard to know where exactly to draw that line, but I’m pretty sure it’s way south of leaving a stranger alone with a watch worth seven million yen (US$53,000).

On 25 July two men met in the parking lot of a convenience store in Saitama Prefecture to negotiate the sale of an 18-karat yellow gold Rolex Yacht-Master II. Despite its value, the seller was willing to part with it for just 6.3 million ($47,000) in a sale arranged through a second-hand online shopping site.

▼ The watch shown here is the Oystersteel version rather than the yellow gold.

After the potential buyer walked up to the seller’s car wearing shorts, a T-shirt, and thick gloves, the buyer handed him the luxury timepiece for inspection. After looking at it for a bit, the buyer asked the seller to go into the store to buy some tea. The seller then made the fateful decision to go…

▼ This is the part of the story where someone in the movie theater shouts, “Aw hell no, man! Don’t go in that door!”

After taking about two minutes to purchase the beverages, the man walked out of the store only to find that the buyer and watch were both long gone. Still dealing with the crushing reality of what had just happened, the man reported the incident and tried to contact the buyer. However, after texting “I left it in your car,” and “I don’t have your watch,” the buyer deleted his account.

▼ A news report on the incident

The victim told media that “[instead of getting into the car] he opened the door and crouched down behind it to look at the watch. That was suspicious. Now that I think about it, we were outside the whole time which made it easier for him to escape.” Although he seemed in good spirits during interviews, he also admitted, “I was too stupid and honest.”

It was the general sentiment shared by most of the online comments reacting to the news:

“He was way too kind to go and buy tea.”
“The guy said it himself, he was “too stupid and honest.’ You should trust people but also be careful with expensive items.”
“He should have called off the deal the moment ‘parking lot’ was suggested.”
“Some people just don’t have a good sense for danger I guess.”
“I would have drove away once I saw the T-shirt and shorts.”
“Since selling between individuals is becoming easier, people need to be more aware of the risks involved.”
“He was just too kind…”

Among the comments there was a lot of victim blaming going on as well, and even the victim himself told media that feels he’s partly to blame for what happened. However, in his defense, he did have the awareness to get the buyer on video with his smartphone which, along with the surveillance cameras outside, should go a long way in helping police track down the suspect.

Source: Ameba Times, YouTube/FNNプライムオンライン
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