Man dies after 'being attacked with hammer for his luxury watch' as cops launch murder probe

16 March 2023, 11:23 | Updated: 16 March 2023, 12:20

Mr Smith was said to have been attacked for his watch
Mr Smith was said to have been attacked for his watch. Picture: Social media

By Will Taylor

Police are investigating a murder after a man was killed during a possible Rolex robbery in Birmingham.

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An eyewitness said the Darren Smith had been attacked with a hammer during a bid to steal his designer watch.

An eyewitness said the unnamed victim, thought to be in his 50s, had been attacked with a hammer during a bid to steal his designer watch.

Detectives have said they understand he might have been the victim of robbery but were keeping an "open mind".

An eyewitness told the Express: "A 50-year-old bloke has been attacked with a hammer or something similar for his Rolex.

"It was crazy, there were police helicopters overhead and dozens of police and ambulances. All this was happening at the end of the school day. There were kids around, it's terrible.

"A blue tent has since been set up. It doesn't look good."

One heartbroken social media user said: "Spent half the night awake thinking of you Wiff… looking back through old messages, smiling at the laughs, the stories & the utter madness you brought, there was never a dull moment with you around, our very own ginger Tasmanian devil..

"To think you’ve been taken from this life… for a possession angers me & breaks my heart.

Mr Smith was killed in Birmingham
Mr Smith was killed in Birmingham. Picture: Social media

"Darren Wiffa Smith you lived a colourful life.. you were the funniest lad, the biggest lovable rogue.. and just as you were pushing life to its full potential, just like that…. you’re gone."

Another said: "Coming home to the hear the shocking news of Darren Wiffa Smith , his life taken over a personal possession. Awful news."

Mr Smith was found seriously injured outside shops on Wednesday afternoon.

"A cordon remains in place today while we carry out extensive enquiries to establish who was responsible," West Midlands Police said.

"We'll have an increased policing presence in the area as we review all available CCTV and speak to as many people as possible to assist our investigation."

Anyone with information has been asked to call 101 using log 2653 of 15 March.

If confirmed, it would follow a spate of high-profile expensive watch robberies.

In London, a group dubbed the "Rolex rippers" were jailed after a spate of terrifying knifepoint watch robberies throughout the capital.

They made their victims fear for their lives as they threatened them with a large knife or machete and stole watches and a bag.

Read more: Thug pointed gun in the face of boxer Amir Khan and shouted ‘take off your watch’ during terrifying armed robbery

But their spree was halted after they botched an escape and cops were able to track them down.

A man was convicted earlier this year of robbing elite Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish at knifepoint in his own home.

Romario Henry, 31, of Lewisham in South East London, was found guilty of two counts of robbery.

Cavendish and his wife Peta had their high-value watches robbed at knifepoint at their home in Ongar, Essex.

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