The clock has wound down on a case that spans more than a year and stretches all the way to Texas, as Monroe police arrested a man today who they say is responsible for stealing more than $1 million worth of watches.
The suspect, Gilberto Nieves, is a 38-year-old Stratford resident who was a product repair manager for Victorinox/Swiss Army at its Monroe warehouse at the time of the alleged crime.
In a statement, Lt. Brian McCauley of the Monroe Police Department said it was in October of 2011 when police received a complaint from Victorinox/Swiss Army. At that time, during an inventory of the products located in their warehouse at 7 Victoria Drive in Monroe, the company discovered that hundreds of wrist watches were missing.
In January, a full count was completed and no discrepancies were found. Then random pieces were found missing over the next couple of months and, in September, another full inventory of the entire warehouse was called for due to the discrepancies. This resulted in the large scale discovery of the missing watches, with a total market value of $1,076,000.
The investigation confirmed the loss came from employee theft, police said.
As product repair manager for Victorinox/Swiss Army, Nieves had access to the new watches and the second hand watches. He allegedly devised a way to remove a small number of watches from the property without being noticed by the company security.
After removing the products from the Victorinox property, the watches were reportedly being sent to multiple locations in and out of state. Analysis of the facts led Monroe police to send a detective to San Marcos, Texas, to serve a search warrant. Having local jurisdiction, the San Marcos Police Department assisted the Monroe police detective with the recovery of thousands of dollars worth of stolen watches.
Information gained in Texas lead to additional search warrants and recoveries back here in Connecticut, police said. The Federal Bureau of Investigation also assisted the Monroe Police Department with some interviews until it was determined the jurisdiction would remain with Connecticut courts.
Nieves was charged with first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny. His bond was set at $150,000 and he is schedule to appear in court on Sept. 21.
Additional arrests are pending, police said.