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Grammy Award-Winning Violinist

Thief Jacked My $38K Watch

In Masterful Heist

3/2/2012 12:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

It's like a scene out of "Ocean's 11" -- Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell claims a master thief cleverly posed as the musician, infiltrated his hotel room, opened his safe ... and jacked a TON of valuables, including a $38,000 watch.

Josh's rep tells TMZ, the famed soloist was performing with the London Philharmonic in Zaragoza, Spain on February 29th when the thief struck -- breaking into the 5-star hotel room where the musician was staying.

Josh was performing at the time -- but according to his rep, the thief somehow convinced the front desk clerk he was the violinist and obtained a room key. Once inside the room, Josh claims the thief called the front desk and said he was having trouble opening his safe.

According to Josh's rep, the thief met hotel security inside Bell's room -- wearing only a towel, as if he had just gotten out of the shower.

Josh's rep claims security opened the safe for the thief -- never once checking for ID -- allowing him to steal Mr. Bell’s Breguet watch, valued at more than $38,000.

We're told the thief also made off with Mr. Bell’s laptop, a ton of cash, and other personal belongings.

Bell tells TMZ, “I was amazed at how easy it was for this to occur."

Fortunately, the thief did NOT have a chance to jack Mr. Bell’s priceless 1713 Stradivarius violin -- because Bell was using it at his performance. The incident is currently under investigation. 


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First, this guy is sexy. Second, why would a hotel, no doubt an expensive one handle procedure this way? If I want to buy something for a cold I have to show ID. I realize this is Spain, but they are considered part of the modern world. Is this the country's first theft or are they just that silly?

934 days ago


Who cares about your $38,000 watch? Get a Timex.....but, get the expensive one.

934 days ago

Kim Kar-whore-ian    


934 days ago


That's one reason to stick with an attractive but cheap watch. It will keep reasonably accurate time too.

934 days ago

Mo Green    

Joshua WHO Ever Heard Of You ? I Find It Hard To Believe You Need A Watch Much Less A " ROLL _ EX ! " I Will Tell You ITS Time For You TO Take Your " Fiddle " Back To Your Local Pawn Shop { Where someone might know who the hell you are !} & Perhaps On The Way Some Random " Street Person " Can Help You Find That " Ton Of Cash " ! Did You Check The Purse Of Your " Imaginary " Girl Friend ?

934 days ago


In Spain if they can't catch the thief they'll just blame him just like they did Madeleine's parents. Incompetent cops.

934 days ago


He was a fall guy.Ninjas did it.

933 days ago


The watch was a gift to Joshua Bell 'in recognition of his contribution to musical arts' from Breguet in September 2011 -- their “Le Réveil du Tsar” watch. I've read about a lot of celebrities who own extravagant watches. Maybe one of your favorite celebrities even own a 'Vacheron Constantin Tour de l’Ile', which retails for $1.5 million dollars, which won't tell any better time than a $30 radio-controlled watch, but is hand made with many features no Timex will ever have. Admittedly, any such watch is an unneeded extravagance. Hopefully Joshua Bell gets his belongings back.

933 days ago


If the theif had a perfect english intonation, then he's not spanish

932 days ago

L .Zamirian    

You aren't safe anywhere.

932 days ago


Josh was given the watch by Breguet because of Joshua's work promoting the arts. Breguet and the New York Philharmonic have recently partnered in this capacity...The article is below, if anyone is interested in obtaining some facts before they comment.

931 days ago


Interesting how it has taken the Spanish press almost two weeks to release the news and according to them the Spanish police claim thieves forced their way into the room and broke into the safe. Weird how the stories are mixed.

924 days ago
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