Larcenists with an eye for luxury broke into a Bentley showroom in La Jolla, California, not to steal cars, apparently, but rather some expensive timepieces.
An alarm drew police to the Symbolic Motor Car Company showroom on La Jolla Boulevard between Pearl and Marine streets about 2:50 a.m. where they found a front window of the business shattered, San Diego police said.
The thieves had smashed the plate glass with such force that the impact sent shards flying to the back of the large showroom, business owner Marc Chase said. The intruders then walked past several luxury cars straight to a locked, glass case containing four Breitling for Bentley watches.
Police found the case tipped over and smashed open. Chase said the missing watches, which were on consignment, were worth about $100,000, and that one of them was solid gold. He put the total loss at about $150,000, adding that two cars were also damaged.
Police said it appeared the thieves knew exactly what they were after.
“That is a very specific and unique loss,” San Diego police Capt. Brian Ahearn said.
Although there were no witnesses to the break-in, surveillance video showed one person in a hooded sweatshirt apparently using his body to smash through the store window. He is followed by a heavyset person who slips on the glass and grabs onto two cars to break the fall.
A possible getaway vehicle was described a Chevy S-10 type pickup, Ahearn said.
Investigators will use the video, as well as fingerprints and any DNA evidence, to try to identify the suspects. They will also question employees to see if anyone recognizes the pair who most likely have been to the business before, Ahearn said.
According to the watch company website, the Swiss-made Breitling for Bentley chronograph represents a “proud alliance between the grand art of British carmaking and the fine Swiss watchmaking tradition.”
Soccer superstar David Beckham, the global spokesman for the brand, is depicted on the site wearing one of the luxury timepieces with a Bentley parked in the background.
In 2002, the carmaker produced the Continental GT using the Breitling Company for the design of the car’s technical instruments and the onboard clock. The watch manufacturer launched the Breitling for Bentley model timepiece the following year.
James Bond, played by Sir Sean Connery, wore another of the company’s models — a Breitling Top Time chronograph watch — in the 1965 movie Thunderball.
Symbolic Motors sells Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, Lamborghinis and Bugattis, according to the company’s owner.