Men With Expensive Watches Need To Be Careful As “Rolex Rippers” Strike Again
Police have warned owners of expensive watches to be on their guard, after the “Rolex Rippers” strike again.
he term has been applied to generally attractive women with Eastern European accents who use “honey trap” methods to distract men while stealing their expensive watches.
The criminal network is believed to have stolen watches worth over £1million last year as it targeted affluent areas of Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Surrey.
Now police say they have reappeared after two women claiming to be housekeepers stole a valuable watch from a resident’s wrist after knocking on the front door.
Police have warned others to beware of ‘distraction’ thefts after the theft on Trenchard Avenue, Wendover.
“Answering their front door, the person turned around to get a piece of paper and the women followed them into the property,” police said.
“One of the women wrote a number on the piece of paper and the other hugged the person hard before leaving the property.
“The person then realized that her watch had been stolen from her wrist and she had bruises.”
Police describe the two women as white, in their early 20s and about 5ft 9in tall.
They wore similar dark or black coats with dark pants and wore white lace-up sneakers, which looked brand new. Both spoke with Eastern European accents.
They are believed to have struck more than 50 times last year.
The wave of thefts is expected to intensify as temperatures rise and short-sleeve weather returns, leaving watches easily exposed.
Last year, most of the crimes took place after April, and many of them were reported at exclusive golf clubs whose wealthy members tend to “advertise” their watches without the knowledge.
In January, a 64-year-old man was taken to hospital with serious injuries after he was attacked by two thieves who snatched his Rolex watch.
He was seriously injured in the robbery on South Coast Road, Peacehaven, Sussex Police said.
It came after several forces, including Sussex, warned before Christmas that ‘Rolex Ripper’ thieves were operating in the south and west of England preying on obviously wealthy OAPs for their watches.
During the December alert, police urged wealthy older men about foreign women – sometimes dressed as nurses.
The Rolex Rippers are obviously targeting wealthy OAPs leaving posh golf clubs or outside high-end stores like Waitrose, checking to see if they’re wearing the expensive watches on their wrists.
In one police area alone – Hampshire – more than 30 thefts have been reported in the last 16 months, with all the victims targeted for wearing high-value Rolex watches.
But there may be many more older men who have been robbed but are too embarrassed to come forward and admit they have been cheated.
Some might be terrified of their wives learning how open they were to strangers’ conversation lines.
The women – believed to be Eastern Europeans – are thought to have brought back watches worth over £1million last year, with numerous other thefts reported in Gloucestershire , Dorset, Sussex, Devon and Cornwall.
Dorset Police have released CCTV photos taken in October of two women aged around 40 and 20 with ‘dark hair’ and ‘Eastern European accents’ who ‘kiss’ their victims and take designer watches using sleight of hand techniques.
Hampshire Police said some victims reported the women claiming to be carrying out an investigation or petition.
“They often use a clipboard as a prop to make themselves look authentic.
‘Once the investigation is complete, suspects often compliment the victim and try to kiss her, with reports suggesting they might try to hug or kiss her.
“It is during this period that the object, usually a watch, is removed using sleight of hand techniques.
“The suspects are then spotted leaving the scene in a vehicle.
“The target locations sought appear to be near golf courses and supermarket car parks.
“However, some offenses also took place outside of residential properties.”