Arrest Made in Rolex Pistol-Whipping Robbery in Rowland Heights

August 16, 2022

ROWLAND HEIGHTS, CA—After an Asian couple was violently robbed of a Rolex watch in Rowland Heights last month, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has arrested the African-American male they believe committed the crime.

On Monday, authorities announced that 21-year-old Demoryie Watts was arrested late last week.

Watts is accused of being one of the robbers who took a $60,000 watch at gunpoint in the parking lot of a 99 Ranch Market store back in early July. Both victims were pistol-whipped in the head.

“Before the victims could react or comply with the suspects’ demands, they were physically assaulted by the suspects, causing both victims to fall to the ground. The suspects then physically removed the watch from the male’s wrist,” the LASD said in a press release.

Watts was arrested Friday as part of “a multi-location search warrant at two residences in Los Angeles and one in Lancaster that were associated with Suspect Watts,” the LASD stated.

During the search, authorities found the Dodge Challenger the robbers used, as well as a pistol they believe was used in the attack. However, authorities were unable to find the stolen Rolex.

Police believe the couple was not specifically targeted for being Asian and do not believe the robbery and assault was a hate crime, according to KTLA.

Many pro-Black pages blamed the Asian victim for wearing the expensive watch, which caused Watts to react to the “invitation” of taking the Rolex.

“This specific crime was shocking to all because it occurred during broad daylight and at a peaceful community in Rowland Heights. According to investigators, there is no evidence to indicate the subjects were motivated by hate,” the release said.

The 21-year-old suspect faces charges of robbery, possessing a firearm as a felon, and violating his parole.

Deputies are still searching for a second person involved in the robbery.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva expressed concerns District Attorney George Gascón has not aggressively pursued charges. Villanueva is seeking gun enhancement and gang enhancement charges to increase Watts’ sentence, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“Our concern is now the District Attorney is not filing cases. Last year, 13,677 cases where we went to a call, spoke to victims, prepared a report, arrested a suspect, had all the evidence presented to the District Attorney and he refused to file charges because it was a special order and that blanket policy allowed a lot of people to continue harming the community,” Villanueva said.

Feature Screenshots via KTLA

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