Third Arrest in Investigation of Swiss Army Watch Thefts

Monroe detectives have investigated the theft of over $1 million worth of watches from Victorinox Swiss Army for over a year with some assistance from the FBI.

A year-long investigation into the theft of over $1 million worth of watches from Victorinox Swiss Army in Monroe netted a third arrest Monday morning, when a former executive assistant with the company turned herself in on a warrant. One more arrest is expected, according to Police Lt. Keith White.

Linda Thanassi, 51, of Tahmore Place in Shelton was charged with first-degree larceny and released after posting $30,000 court set bond. She has a court date scheduled for Oct. 10.

Swiss Army found that Thanassi had allegedly been sending unusual amount of watches out of state from the mailroom, specifically to Texas, from August of 2010 until October of 2011, police said.

Though he had no estimate on the number of watches or the value, White said it amounted to 20 packages weighing a total of about 120 pounds. The normal shipment of one box should weigh approximately one pound with the box, the watch and the packaging around it, according to White.

Two Stratford men, Mark Bancroft, 50, who owned Village Billiards, a pool hall at 588 Success Avenue in Stratford, and Gilberto Nieves, 38, a product repair manager at Swiss Army, were previously arrested. But White said Thanassi did not conspire with them.

White said the investigation of Thanassi took Monroe police to Texas, which brought them back to Stratford where Bancroft and Nieves were linked to watch thefts.


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