The safety and security of Monaco have been underlined this summer by the fact that other up-market towns along the Riviera have been plagued by violent thefts and muggings, as criminals copy a long-term deplorable trend in Paris.

The reputation of Saint-Tropez, in particular, is being stained by a growing incidence of audacious watch thefts, local prosecutor Michael Darras said in court this week.

Thieves target individuals wearing expensive watches and rip them from their wrists, often causing injury. “The teams of thieves are very well organised,” Mr Darras said.

In the most recent case to come to court two thieves took two Rolex watches valued at more than 70,000 euros in a daytime theft from an elderly couple that lasted little more than a minute, the court in Draguignan was told.

The watches and a third member of the team have not been found following the incident on July 6. In this case the victim was an 82 year-old man at the wheel of a Porsche Macan. He and his wife were confronted by the thieves in the parking space in front of their home and the watches taken from their wrists. Both watches had been bought two weeks previously.

The court heard that booth defendants had criminal records for bank robbery and drug trafficking in Italy. They were each sentenced to two years in jail.

FILE PHOTO: Well-known for the high cost of everything, daylight robberies are on the increase in Saint Tropez