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Rolex thief claims to be have ‘too low an IQ’ to know better

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : April 18, 2024 - 14:55

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The suspects flee after stealing the watch, while pretending to check it, March 1, in Jeju City, Jeju. (Jeju Dongbu Police Station) The suspects flee after stealing the watch, while pretending to check it, March 1, in Jeju City, Jeju. (Jeju Dongbu Police Station)

Three South Korean men under trial for stealing an expensive watch have pleaded for leniency, with one of the defendants claiming to have too low an IQ to have had a clear idea of what he was getting himself into.

Jeju District Court on Wednesday held a hearing on a 19-year-old man who stole a Rolex watch worth about 19 million won ($13,800) in Jeju city, along with his two accomplices, both aged 20. The suspects were caught while trying to sell the watch at a pawn shop in another part of the city.

The three defendants pleaded guilty, but asked the court for leniency, citing their young age. Their lawyer said one of the 20-year-old suspects has an IQ of 74, and took part in the crime "by mistake."

In the incident that took place on March 1, the 19-year-old defendant tricked the victim by saying he wished to check the state of the watch, then took the Rolex without paying. Investigation showed that the two 20-year-olds were friends, and the younger defendant had acquainted them through school.

The prosecution requested a one-year prison term to the two 20-year-olds.

For the 19-year-old who actually stole the watch, the prosecution requested a prison term from eight months in jail to one year and six months in jail. This is because he had been a legal minor at the time of the crime and was subject to the Juvenile Act.

The defendants are slated to be sentenced on May 17.