Geneva flush with phoney plumbers: police

Phoney plumbers are robbing apartment dwellers in Geneva, say cantonal police who issued a warning to residents to be on guard.

Geneva flush with phoney plumbers: police

Crooks, posing as plumbers and other kinds of workers sent by property management firms to do maintenance work, are preying on unsuspecting residents, police said.

“In the past two weeks judicial police have recorded a fresh outbreak of thefts through deception,” the force said in a release issued on Wednesday.

Victims of thefts reported visits by laborers, heating experts and plumbers who turned out to be false.

Six cases have been reported in the past four days, with as many as 40 in the past year, Philippe Cosandey, cantonal police spokesman told the ATS news agency.

“Generally, they were sent by the rental management company to do various maintenance jobs,” according to the police statement.

“These culprits, usually dressed (in workers’ outfits) to avoid suspicion, work alone or in pairs,” police said, adding that the elderly were the most frequently targeted.

When they arrive at an apartment (the thieves) use various strategies to distract the attention of the victims while they steal jewellery and other items of value, the police statement said.

After seizing valuables they take their leave with a “thank you,” the statement said.

To avoid such misadventures, Geneva police said you should never let unknown people into your residence.

They also suggested changing daily habits and contacting police on the 117 number if you have the slightest suspicion about activities of unknown people in your building.

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Thieves ram car into Geneva watch boutique

Thieves rammed a car into the door of high-end watch company Zenith's store in the heart of Geneva Thursday and cleared out its display cases, the Swiss firm said.

Thieves ram car into Geneva watch boutique
Zenith watch boutique before the break-in. Photo: Zenith

Zenith, which belongs to French luxury conglomerate LVMH, said that the door of its boutique on Geneva's upscale Rue du Rhone was thought to have been rammed by a car shortly after 5am.

The thieves abandoned the car used to penetrate the store, a Renault Mégane stolen in Geneva, the Tribune de Genève reported.

Zenith spokeswoman Maud Tiberti told AFP that the thieves made off with 30 watches, but could not immediately provide a value for the haul.
The loss of the watches, coupled with the damage to the store, totalled one 
million francs ($1.1 million), she said.
Zenith opened the boutique in the chic shopping area in December 2011.