So far in July, there have been 136 reported watch thefts in the Stockholm region, including 64 in Stockholm city itself. That compares to 79 thefts in the city over the whole of 2018.
Many of these have taken place in the affluent business district of Östermalm, with many of the thefts occurring in the stairwells of victims' apartment blocks, according to police.
Some of the perpetrators have threatened victims with weapons, and in some cases they are thought to have identified victims through social media posts and posed as couriers to lure them to the stairwells.
“We are seeing a clear increase in this type of crime. This robbery is difficult to prevent and investigate as some of them appear to be relatively well-planned. We need the public's help in finding out who is behind the various robberies,” police investigator Daniel Horner said in a statement.
Police said that they would be prioritizing this kind of theft in response to the increased reports, which means among other things that more units will be working on this type of crime. In late June, two men were detained on suspicion of carrying out several watch thefts.
Police have advised the public to avoid showing off expensive items in public on social media, especially when it can easily be traced back to you, and to make sure that building doors are closed after you enter.