Woman steals Rolex watch from man by grabbing wrist

POLICE is calling for information following more than 30 incidents of theft by distraction, including one near Basingstoke, in the past 12 months.

Police say a man from Upton Gray working in his garden on Weston Road had his Rolex watch stolen after a woman grabbed his wrist.

Elderly victims are being targeted across Hampshire, and police have now offered crime prevention advice.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘During each incident, the suspect – usually a woman – has targeted elderly victims in public places by pretending to ask them questions about an investigation or petition.

“They often use a clipboard as a prop to make themselves look authentic. Once the investigation is complete, suspects often compliment the victim and try to kiss her, with reports suggesting they may try to hug or kiss her.

“It is during this period that the item, usually a watch, is removed using trick techniques. The suspects are then seen leaving the area in a vehicle. The target locations sought seem to be close to golf courses and supermarket parking lots. However, some infractions have also taken place outside of residential properties.

One of the cases listed by police was in Upton Gray on April 8 of this year. The man realized he had lost his Rolex watch 15 minutes after the woman left the scene.

Police have also documented similar cases at Locks Heath, Yateley, Chandler’s Ford, East Wellow, Petersfield, Bordon and Emsworth.

Detectives are investigating incidents and urging the public to immediately report any violations to help apprehend offenders.

The police also used the following tips:

  • When meeting a fundraiser in person, verify their credentials – street collectors should wear a clearly visible ID badge
  • Most fundraising documents should include a charity’s name, registration number, and landline number.
  • If in doubt, ask for more information – a true fundraiser should be happy to answer your questions
  • Register your property for free on immobilise.com
  • Photograph each piece of gold or valuable jewelry on a plain background with a ruler beside it
  • Keep a written description for each item
  • Jewelry can be marked using an appropriate security product. Always take the advice of a specialist before marking expensive or irreplaceable items. You can find out more about traceable liquids at securebydesign.com
  • Keep purses and bags closed and secure at all times
  • Be aware of your surroundings and what is going on around you when you shop
  • Wear bags in front of you or diagonally across your chest
  • Quickly put the cards back in your purse or wallet and close or button them
  • Use a handbag that is difficult for others to open – one that zips or snaps is best
  • Conceal your wallet in a buttoned or zipped pocket where it does not swell
  • Do not hang bags on the back of your chair or stroller
  • Report any suspicious activity in your area to the police by calling 101 or online at hampshire.police.uk, but in an emergency always call 999.
  • Anyone with information relating to any of the above incidents, please call 101 quoting the reference number.

Floyd N. Morlan