Scottsdale shop owner sets up sting operation, catches watch thief

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - A California man was busted for selling high-end, stolen watches in Scottsdale and it was all made possible because the owner of the store set up his own sting operation. 

Scottsdale Police report that February 2, they arrested 59-year-old Robert Gerald Moses at The Estate Watch and Jewelry Company near Scottsdale and Indian School roads. 

"Just got to stay vigilant and stay ahead of the crooks," said owner Don Edwards.  

Moses is accused of selling a Rolex watch stolen from an Orange County gym three days earlier. 

"We bought it for $9,500," said Edwards. "It's something you'd find in a retail store for probably $20,000 or $22,000."

After the purchase, Edwards ran the serial number, and it was flagged out of California. 

"The biggest part is trying to catch the person so you can recoup your money," said Edwards. "But if you can't catch them, there's no chance of recouping anything."

But Moses was bold enough to actually leave an item at the store to get repaired.

So Edwards put together a plan to have Moses come pick it up and have Scottsdale police swoop in. 

"Basically kind of corner him in the corner and question him," said Edwards. 

And police pulled another Rolex out of Moses' pocket they say was also stolen, worth about $10,000. 

"Little bit of satisfaction," said Edwards. "Once again, you're hoping to get your money back, but usually that doesn't happen because they're sitting in jail and there's no way to pay you back."

Police say Moses is a "lifetime career criminal" with a 40-year criminal history. He was already on release for other gym locker thefts in San Diego. 

They say it appears Moses was living out of his car and found burglary tools inside. He's been charged with trafficking in stolen property. 

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