More than £30m worth of luxury watches stolen every year in London, crime figures reveal

4 April 2023, 12:05 | Updated: 4 April 2023, 12:07

Luxury watch thefts have been on the rise in London, peaking in 2022
Luxury watch thefts have been on the rise in London, peaking in 2022. Picture: Metropolitan Police/LBC
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

More than £30 million worth of luxury watches are stolen in London every year, new research shows.

The capital city is the worst-affected region in the UK for watch thefts, with more than 6,000 cases reported in the last 12 months.

It is estimated £162 million worth of watches have been stolen across in London over the last five years - more than £30m per year.

In December 2022 alone, 600 watches were reported stolen, with an average value of £5,188.88 each.

It comes after watch crime fell to its lowest point during the pandemic, but rose again in 2022, which saw 15,058 watches reported as stolen in the UK.

Amir Khan's luxury watch was stolen in April last year
Amir Khan's luxury watch was stolen in April last year. Picture: Metropolitan Police

This was the highest number of cases in two-years, with the average value of the watch reported to be stolen at £1,345, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) by Watchfinder & Co.

In total, more than 100,000 watches have been stolen across the UK since 2015.

Read More: Two convicted after Amir Khan robbed of £70,000 diamond watch at gunpoint

Read More: Shocking footage shows moment moped muggers hit pedestrian to steal £211,000 watch in terrifying 45-minute spree

In one incident, Andrei Karkar was walking along Curzon Street in Mayfair, west London, when he was targeted by two teenagers on mopeds.

Footage shows moment moped drivers ram man in Mayfair in broad daylight

One of the teens drove onto the pavement and rammed into Mr Karkar, while the other held him to the ground.

He was kicked and punched by the pair as they stole his Patek Philippe watch, estimated to be worth around £210,000.

Shortly before Mr Karkar was robbed, Michael McKeown nearly had his £75,000 Audemars Piguet watch stolen.

More recently, two men were convicted after Amir Khan was robbed of his £70,000 diamond watch at gunpoint.

Read More: Terrifying moment Amir Khan robbed of £70,000 diamond watch at gunpoint

Mr Khan told a court how looking down the barrel of a gun as he was robbed of his £70,000 watch was scarier than any of his fights.

The former boxing world champion 36, said his wife, Faryal Makhdoom, 31, was "screaming and crying" when he was targeted as they left the Sahara Grill Restaurant in Leyton, east London, on April 18 last year.

CCTV released of moment gunman robs former boxer Amir Khan

Speaking as a victim, Mr Khan said the recent surge in watch crime was "truly shocking" and said more needs to be done to stop the sale of stolen watches.

Read More: 'Knife-wielding gang attempts to steal watches from group in Mayfair' as ride-by moped thefts rise

In a separate incident, a man who stole a watch worth £145,000 outside a Tube station in central London after taking the victim for a drink was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years in jail.

Lindell Angell, 32, stole a victim's Patek Phillipe watch, valued at approximately £145,000, in January last year.

Angell befriended the 51-year-old victim on the Strand, central London, and convinced him to go to a nearby bar.

Lindell Angell
Lindell Angell. Picture: Metropolitan Police

The pair drank together for several hours and exchanged phone numbers before deciding to head home.

Angell convinced the victim to walk down a dark alley towards Embankment tube station, before launching an unprovoked attack.

CCTV footage shows Angell repeatedly punching the victim until he fell unconscious before removing his watching and running away.

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