3 arrested after $500,000 watch is stolen off the wrist of Beverly Hills restaurant patron

Matthew Moon and Dominick Rivetti stand on Beverly Hills City Hall steps.
FBI agent Matthew Moon, left, and Beverly Hills Police Chief Dominick Rivetti take part in a news conference Wednesday announcing arrests in an armed robbery at a popular restaurant.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Three alleged gang members were arrested in the armed robbery of a man’s $500,000 watch while he was eating lunch outdoors at an Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills, authorities said Wednesday.

A woman was shot in the leg during a struggle over the gun used in the March 4 holdup at Il Pastaio on Canon Drive.

The three suspects, who were arrested Tuesday, were members of the Rollin’ 30s Crips, a South Los Angeles street gang, authorities said.


Malik Lamont Powell, 20, Khai McGhee, 18, and Marquise Anthony Gardon, 30, each face up to 20 years in prison on a federal charge of conspiracy to commit robbery. Two other suspects remain at large.

Police have not yet found the rare wristwatch the men are accused of stealing: a rose-gold Richard Mille RM 11-03 Flyback Chronograph, which is popular with celebrities.

Surveillance video shows the suspects scouting the area around the restaurant before the robbery, according to a court statement by FBI agent Michael Fukuda.

Three of the suspects were wearing hoods when they reached the crowded sidewalk terrace where jeweler Shay Belhassen was eating lunch just after 2 p.m. One of them, Fukuda said, put a gun to Belhassen’s head and told him: “Give it to me.”

A brazen robbery ended in gunfire that left one person injured after a shooting near the Beverly Hills restaurant

March 4, 2021

Two others yanked Belhassen’s watch from his wrist. Belhassen grabbed for the gun that was being held against his temple. During a struggle over the weapon, two shots went off, and a bullet hit a female diner in the leg. Police said her gunshot wound was relatively minor.

The suspects left the gun on the ground and ran east on Dayton Way to a getaway car, a black BMW owned by Powell, authorities said.


Powell’s cellphone was tracked near Il Pastaio at the time of the robbery, and images of guns and high-end watches were posted on his social media accounts, according to the FBI.

A sample of McGhee’s DNA was taken from blood stains on Belhassen’s shirt, Fukuda said. Footage from a surveillance camera shows Gardon getting out of the BMW’s back seat and getting into the driver’s seat just before the robbery, he said.

Beverly Hills Police Chief Dominick Rivetti said technology, along with “top-notch” police work, helped lead to the arrests. About 40 people witnessed the holdup.

“This robbery was a brazen attack midday in the heart of Beverly Hills, endangering the lives of everyone in the area,” Rivetti said.