Strictly star has phone snatched by masked biker in London

11 June 2024, 15:33

The former tennis player, 57, described the incident as “terrifying”
The former tennis player, 57, described the incident as “terrifying”. Picture: Alamy

By Will Conroy

Strictly Come Dancing star Annabel Croft had her phone stolen in broad daylight by a masked man on a bike in the centre of London.

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The former tennis player, 57, described the incident as “terrifying” but explained that the thief dropped the phone meaning she could retrieve it.

This was typical of recent incidents in the capital involving thieves acting in pairs and using e-bikes or mopeds to make a quick getaway from the scene.

Two incidents had recently been caught on camera in as many days while the Metropolitan Police released figures last year that on average almost 250 phones a day were stolen in 2022.

Annabel shared on Instagram how her phone had been stolen “clean out of her hands” while she was waiting for a taxi outside King’s Cross station.

Annabel was mugged while waiting outside Kings Cross station
Annabel was mugged while waiting outside Kings Cross station. Picture: Alamy

She said: “I just wanted to warn people who are on their own in London. I just got mugged waiting for a taxi outside King's Cross St Pancras.

“The man was riding a bike and wearing a black balaclava. He rode straight at me and took my phone clean out of my hands.

“He rode away with it but luckily dropped my phone so I got it back. Terrifying!

“On a positive note, there are some lovely people out there. Luckily a lovely gentleman witnessed it and came over to help me. Thank you to whoever you are.”

Read more: Moment officer rams phone thief off e-bike after 24 phones stolen in London in just one hour

Read more: We’re in the midst of a phone theft epidemic - I fell victim, and I don’t trust the Met to sort it out

These gangs have been targeting children, mothers and commuters with figures showing that a mobile phone is reported as stolen in London every six minutes.

There were almost 91,000 phones snatched from Londoners in 2022 and just two per cent of the stolen devices recovered.

Reports show that this type of crime is on the rise nationally but it is particularly prominent in the capital with 52 per cent of mobile thefts in England and Wales between 2019 and 2023 being reported to the Met Police.

Beware of Phone Snatchers warning by Metropolitan Police
Beware of Phone Snatchers warning by Metropolitan Police. Picture: Alamy

This comes after Love Island star Anna-May Robey revealed that thieves stole her phone in a similar attack and “rinsed her bank accounts”.

She said on social media: “Walking to a shoot on Monday, my phone was snatched out of my hand by a cyclist.

“The cyclist approached me from behind so I was unaware and completely oblivious. The phone was unlocked so the guy had access to everything.

“He was able to change my Apple ID straight away so I couldn't track the phone or access any of my information on any other devices.

Anna-May Robey had her phone snatched in a similar way to the Strictly star
Anna-May Robey had her phone snatched in a similar way to the Strictly star. Picture: Alamy

“I know it's easy to replace a mobile phone, but my whole life is on there - Apple Pay, personal information, images, work etc.

“By the time I managed to contact a bank to cancel my cards and Apple Pay, it was too late.

“I found out all accounts had been rinsed. They had not only stolen my phone but spent thousands of pounds, down to my last penny, savings and credit cards were maxed. Leaving me with absolutely NOTHING.”

Londoner Alex Fletcher warned others of the prevalence of phone thefts, adding: "I’ve had my phone pinched in central London twice now.

"Both times they chucked back on the floor straight away because it wasn’t an iPhone."

Last month a video circulated of a cyclist riding up to a group of people standing in London's West End before snatching a phone out of a young woman's hands and speeding off.

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