Hampstead mum robbed while collecting three-year-old from school
16:37 03 June 2014
A mother has warned other parents to be on their guard after she was robbed in broad daylight while strapping her three-year-old daughter into a car seat.
PR worker Jo Kanter’s watch was snatched from her wrist by a brazen thief at about 2.30pm on Monday, outside Hampstead Hill School, in Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead.
He asked for directions before grabbing the timepiece – a fake Rolex bought for £150 in Dubai – in front of the three-year-old’s eyes.
Ms Kanter, from South Hampstead, had just collected her daughter from the school and was helping her into the car, parked in Rosslyn Hill near the busy junction with Pond Street, when the thief struck.
“I was just in shock because it was in such a public place,” said the mum-of-one.
“I could not believe the nerve of him to do that. He grabbed my wrist and ripped off the watch.
“My arm was bleeding and my daughter started screaming.”
She added: “The first thing I did was tell the school to let other parents know just to be on alert.”
Ms Kanter said the man, who was white, English and wearing sunglasses and a red baseball cap, jumped into a waiting car, which raced through a red light and disappeared down Haverstock Hill.
Schools across Hampstead have circulated a warning to families.
In an email to parents, Stephanie Piper, headteacher at Devonshire House Preparatory School in Arkwright Road, Hampstead, said: “The police are aware and will be increasing their patrols, however, we can do a lot to help each other by keeping an eye open.”
Police have asked anyone with information to call officers on 101, or to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
Hampstead, Hampstead Garden Suburb and surrounding areas have seen a spate of robberies in recent months where thieves have snatched expensive watches and jewellery, although the culprits are normally riding on mopeds.