Hunt for the ‘Rolex Rippers’: Police release CCTV of women believed to have robbed watches from at least 21 elderly men at exclusive golf clubs across the south coast
- Dorset Police release CCTV of two women connected to expensive watch thefts
- Duo ‘target elderly men’ with distraction theft in affluent areas near golf clubs
- Allegedly grabbed a watch when hugging a man, 90, who signed their petition
- ‘Rolex Rippers’ are feared to have been behind more than 20 thefts in past year
Police hunting two women dubbed the ‘Rolex Rippers’ have released new CCTV images of their prime suspects.
The duo are believed to have targeted at least 21 elderly men and their expensive Rolex watches in affluent areas and close to exclusive golf clubs in southern England.
The latest victim, a man in his 90s, was approached outside his home next to £2,000-a-year Parkstone Golf Club in Poole, Dorset, on September 21.
Two women asked him to sign a petition and then one of the women thanked and hugged him and removed his watch without him realising.
It was only a few minutes later that he noticed his Rolex had been taken.
Dorset Police have now released grainy CCTV images of the two women and of a grey Toyota they are believed to have used to make their getaway.
Detectives hunting two women dubbed the ‘Rolex Rippers’, who are believed to have targeted at least 21 elderly men’s expensive watches across southern England this year, have released new CCTV images
Dorset Police have now released grainy CCTV images of the two women and of a grey Toyota they are believed to have used to make their getaway
The dark-haired women, who are described as Eastern European, are dressed in casual clothes and leggings, with one of them apparently wearing a mask.
In a lot of recent cases the pair have allegedly posed as a charity workers with clipboards and have stolen watches from their victims without them realising as they sign a petition.
Other times it is believed they have been less subtle and simply ripped the expensive timepieces from off the wrists of men who have been left shocked and bruised afterwards.
Police have also released the image of a grey car which is connected to the latest theft.
Detective Sergeant Karen Penn, of Dorset Police, said: ‘We have been carrying out enquiries into this incident, which is being linked to a series of similar Rolex thefts in the area.
‘As part of our investigation, we have obtained images of the female suspects and the car they were seen to get into following the incident.
‘I appreciate the images are not great quality, but I am hopeful they may help jog someone’s memory and I would urge anyone with information to please contact us.
‘The women involved are described as Eastern European and I would like to take this opportunity to urge people to remain vigilant if they are approached in similar circumstances, particularly if you are wearing a high value watch or item of jewellery.’
Police have also released the image of a grey car which is connected to the latest theft
Alan Bruce who had his £14,000 watch stolen by the two women dubbed the ‘Rolex Rippers’
The crime spree committed by two women where they have managed to snatch watches
The spate of robberies appears to have begun on May 19 at Stoneham Golf Club, near Southampton, followed by an identical incident a week later at Wellow Golf Club, near Romsey, Hants.
The pair are believed to have struck in Dorset at least seven times before in Poole, Wimborne, Wareham, Ferndown, Highcliffe and Poundbury.
Hampshire Police said they have at least ten victims, and two brothers, aged 85 and 91, were targeted 80 miles apart in Gloucestershire and Surrey.
Officers have warned elderly men to be on their guard while wearing high-value watches while out in public.
Both women are said to be aged in their 20s or 30s and between 5ft 2ins and 5ft 9ins tall. They both have dark hair and Eastern European accents although some victims have believed them to be Spanish.
Alan Bruce, who lost his £14,000 gold Rolex watch earlier this year, described the pair as ‘highly trained professionals’ who are likely to be part of a wider gang.
Mr Bruce, a 63-year-old marine engineer, was walking in Wimborne town centre on July 15 when he was approached by the pair.
He said: ‘One had a clipboard and the taller one was making out she was deaf and they wanted signatures for a petition for a new deaf centre.
‘I signed it with my left hand, which was the same hand my watch was on, and one of them then gabbed hold of me and went to hug me. I straight away put my hand on my pocket where my wallet was and pushed her off and walked away.
‘I walked around the corner and realised they had taken my watch. By the time I went back they had gone.
‘I have worked in some real hot spots around the world and consider myself to be streetwise and this is the first time I have been hit.
‘These women are highly rained professional dippers who know what they are doing.’
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