Knifepoint watch robberies soar in London in last month as moped gangs ambush victims

·2-min read
Patek Philippe watches are among those being targeted by robbers.  (Met Police)
Patek Philippe watches are among those being targeted by robbers. (Met Police)

Knifepoint watch robberies by moped gangs in the capital have soared by 60 per cent in the last month, the Metropolitan Police has said.

The terrifying robberies have mainly been in affluent West London.

There were 108 watches stolen between 26 April and 27 June across the streets of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham.

Between 26 April and 30 May, there were 42 watch robberies but in the following four weeks 67 offences were recorded.

This represented a rise of more than 60 per cent.

A couple wearing luxury watches in Chelsea this week were threatened by a moped rider brandishing a machete and forced to hand over their Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe timepieces with police launching an investigation.

In another case, a man in his 50s was knocked down by thieves in Chelsea earlier this month and thugs stole his £20,000 Rolex as he lay on the ground.

Police have asked for mobile phone and doorbell footage from areas where robberies have occurred, with many reported in west London.

Detective Chief Superintendent Owain Richards, in charge of policing for the Met’s Central West area, said: “As well as asking people to report these robberies as soon as they happen, we know lots of these offences are recorded on mobile phones or doorbells and we are keen to see this footage.

“Anything that helps us build up a picture of individuals carrying out these crimes could be crucial to us finding them and putting a stop to their abhorrent behaviour.”

Former World and Olympic champion boxer Boxer Amir Khan was robbed at gunpoint for his £70,000 Franck Muller watch in Leyton in April.

He and his wife were being watched in a restaurant before the thieves struck, a court heard last month.

In 2019, Omani student Mohammed Al-Araimi was fatally stabbed for his Rolex in Knightsbridge.

Anyone who has footage or information about these cases – or any street robberies – is asked to call 101 quoting Operation Furbish.

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