'I cherish you forever': Devastated girlfriend pays tribute to watch seller found dead after being choked during robbery

28 May 2024, 12:50 | Updated: 28 May 2024, 14:18

Tributes have been paid to watch seller Oliver White who was found dead after a raid
Tributes have been paid to watch seller Oliver White who was found dead after a raid. Picture: Instagram/Police

By Asher McShane

The devastated girlfriend of a watch seller who was found dead at his home 24 hours after being the victim of a high value jewellery raid has shared a heartbreaking tribute to him.

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Alana Dredge posted tributes on Instagram after her partner Oliver White died. He was found dead at home in circumstances deemed 'not suspicious' by police - around 24 hours after he was held in a chokehold during a high-value watch robbery in Richmond, south west London.

She posted on Instagram revealing that she keeps sending him WhatsApp messages in the hope he will respond.

Devastated Alana posted online yesterday: “My darling boy I can’t believe your gone. This was our last photo together. This was only 2 weeks ago and now I’ll never see you again.

Alana Dredge posted tributes on Instagram after her partner Oliver White died
Alana Dredge posted tributes on Instagram after her partner Oliver White died. Picture: Instagram

“The last thing you said to me was I love you. I will cherish you forever, being with you was the best 6 years of my life. I hope you are reading this from up there, I will continue to make you proud.

“We saving up to buy our first home and I promise you I’ll I will buy the house you exactly wanted and it’ll be your home. I keep sending you what’s app hoping this is all a nightmare and you’ll reply.

“I don’t know how I’ll do life without you, my whole world has ended. My life will never be the same again I can’t explain how much I love you.

“I will never stop loving you - I’m so numb I can’t cry anymore. I have never felt pain like this, you were the only person that could give me comfort like no other and make all my pain go away.

“Now you’re not here I don’t know what I’m going to do 💔 I love you Oliver more than I can put into words 😭😭😭😭”

One friend posted online: “So so sorry for your loss. Dealt with Oli and the boys on a couple of occasions and were always top drawer. Just trying to make something of himself in a world where it’s fucking hard to do. Absolutely heartbreaking. May he RIEP. X”

Another posted: “My heart breaks for you I’m so so sorry you are in my prayers tonight.”

Horrifying footage showed two men entering the shop with one appearing to assault Oliver, placing his arms round his neck and restraining his hands.

A day before his death two robbers entered the 247 Kettles store in Richmond last Saturday and stole a large number of high-value watches.

The same watch retailer was also targeted in 2021 in a different raid carried out by masked men at their previous address in Egham in Surrey.

They moved their business premises not long after that raid, in which half a million pounds worth of watches were taken.

In the latest attack, the two men can be seen sitting at the other side of the desk to the victim, who appears to be fixing a white watch for them.

One of the attackers grabs the dealer by both arms and violently pushes him across the room on his chair into a corner. His accomplice then dashes to the counter and sweeps up large numbers of watches - stuffing them into the backpack of the man performing the chokehold on Oliver.

The man performing the chokehold speaks into the victim’s ear while the raid is carried out.

Police said they were called to a property in Shepperton on Sunday shortly after 8.15pm, 'following a report of a concern for safety'.

Surrey police confirmed Oliver’s death in a statement: “A man in his 20s was sadly pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin are aware and are being supported.

'Enquiries are still ongoing, but his death is not thought to be suspicious.”

The Met police said: “We are aware of the death of a man in Surrey on Sunday, 26 May. This is being investigated by officers from Surrey Police and is not being treated as suspicious at this time.

“The man who died was the victim of a robbery at a jewellers in Richmond on Saturday, 25 May.

“We ask that the privacy of his family is respected at this difficult time.”

Police have also launched a manhunt for the two suspects accused of robbing the jewellers in the leafy borough of Richmond, south-west London.

The incident happened just before 3pm on Saturday, 25 May in Kew Road.

Police noted that one of the suspects has a distinctive neck tattoo.

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The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: "We are aware of the death of a man in Surrey on Sunday, 26 May. This is being investigated by officers from Surrey Police and is not being treated as suspicious at this time.

"The man’s next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers.

"The man who died was the victim of a robbery at a jewellers in Richmond on Saturday, 25 May.

"We ask that the privacy of his family is respected at this difficult time and moving CCTV footage of the incident involving the victim is not shared on social media.

Police have asked anyone who recognises the two men in the footage or has any information about the raid that could assist police to call 101 or contact @MetCC on X/Twitter, quoting CAD4555/25May.

Those feeling distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK

Police are releasing images of two men they want to locate following a robbery at a jewellers in Richmond.
Police are releasing images of two men they want to locate following a robbery at a jewellers in Richmond. Picture: Met Police
Police are releasing images of two men they want to locate following a robbery at a jewellers in Richmond.
Police are releasing images of two men they want to locate following a robbery at a jewellers in Richmond. Picture: Met Police

Watch thefts across England and Wales have soared in recent years, rising from 6,696 in 2015 to 11,035 in 2022, according to data from Watchfinder & Co.

It comes after boxing star Amir Khan had his £70,000 diamond watch robbed at gunpoint in east London in 2022.

Mr Khan, 37, was leaving the Sahara Grill in Leyton, East London, with his wife Faryal Makhdoom, 31, and their friend Omar Khalid, on April 18, 2022 when the terrifying attack took place.

The gunman can be seen striding towards the light-welterweight boxer as he left the building.

With thugs pointing the weapon in the Bolton-born boxer's face, the group then grabbed the £72,000 custom-made Franck Muller watch before pointing the weapon at Mr Khan’s friend.

The former world boxing champion previously 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.

Mr Khan, 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.

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