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Alleged Rolex thief faces felony charge

Man was arrested on suspicion of grand theft after video caught him stealing watch, police say.

September 24, 2010|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com
  • Gary Karo Demirchyan, 54.
Gary Karo Demirchyan, 54. (Courtesy Glendale…)

GLENDALE — Prosecutors filed charges this week against a 54-year-old Glendale man who was arrested on suspicion of stealing a $9,200 Rolex from a jewelry store at the Glendale Galleria.

Gary Demirchyan has been charged with one felony count of grand theft, according to the criminal complaint. He is expected to be arraigned Oct. 8 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Glendale.

Prosecutors have recommended that the judge set bail at $20,000, according to the complaint.

Reached at his home Friday, Demirchyan said he had no comment about the charge and allegations.

He was arrested on Aug. 26 at his home in the 2700 block of Sleepy Hollow Place in Glenoaks Canyon after a tipster called detectives about recognizing him in a surveillance photo published in the Glendale News-Press, police said.

Detectives had released video surveillance photographs because they needed the public's help in identifying a man who stole the watch from Classic Designs in the Glendale Galleria.

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Surveillance video footage showed a man entering the store on Aug. 2 to ask about the Rolex "Deep Sea" watch, which prompted the store clerk to remove it from a glass display for a closer look, police said.

While looking at the watch, the man asked the clerk about making repairs to his phone, police said.

The store clerk became distracted, set the watch on a chair behind the counter and left the room, police said.

The video shows the man walking behind the counter, then sitting on top of the watch before using either a folder or paper to scoop it up and place it in his rear pocket, police said. He then walked out of the store.

Demirchyan told detectives that he was inside the jewelry store that day, but denied stealing the watch, police said.

Police didn't find the watch — which has a traceable serial number — inside Demirchyan's home, and it remains missing, Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

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