Man suffers ‘nasty attack’ during Southwark watch theft

A man who was assaulted and had his watch stolen in a “nasty attack” as he was followed home after a night out in London was “lucky not to sustain serious injuries”, police have said, as the tally of watch thefts in the capital this year continues to mount.

The man in his 30s was assaulted by the group outside Seven Islands Leisure Centre in Southwark at 12.20am on March 30, as they stole his watch and attempted to steal his mobile phone.

The victim had been travelling home by bus from a night out in Shoreditch, east London, when the three men got on at the same stop.

They later followed him off the bus when he alighted at Lower Road in Southwark and “quickly set upon him”, the Metropolitan police said.

A member of the public chased down the thieves, who recovered the watch.

The victim did not require hospital treatment.

Scotland Yard are now appealing for help identifying the suspects, described as “being of Middle Eastern appearance, aged between 20 and 30 years old, around 5ft 9in tall, of slim build and with dark hair. All wore dark clothing and spoke with ‘overseas’ accents”.

Earlier this month, the force appealed for information related to a spate of 12 linked “high value” watch thefts between May and July, in which victims were typically “struck with an object, before their watch was stolen”.

The oldest victim was a 64-year-old man, who was robbed at around 5pm on June 24 at Gibson Hill in Streatham, south-west London.

A total of 67 watch thefts took place in the capital between May 31 and June 27, according to the Metropolitan Police, which marked an increase of about 60% on the previous four-week tally.

Pc Johanna Hernandez Garcia, from the Roads and Transport Policing Command, said of the Southwark attack: “This was a nasty attack and the victim was lucky not to sustain serious injuries.

“We have carried out a number of inquiries to piece together the events of that night and are now appealing for the assistance of the public.

“No-one should have to go about their day in fear of thieves and we know the impact such crimes have on victims.

“I would remind people to remain aware of their surroundings and where possible, keep valuables out of sight.”

Anyone who recognises any of the three suspects or has any information which might help the police in their inquiries is urged to contact police on 07500 607652 or by dialling 101 quoting crime reference 3015739/22.

Information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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