Hampstead women warned to stay vigilant after muggers snatch jewellery worth £30,000

Women in Hampstead have been warned to keep their jewellery hidden. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Women in Hampstead have been warned to keep their jewellery hidden. Picture: Nigel Sutton. - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Hampstead women have been warned to keep jewellery hidden while walking the streets after a string of violent daylight muggings in which robbers ripped jewels worth more than £30,000 from three victims.

The robbing spree in three adjacent streets began in May with the theft of a £4,000 Cartier watch from a woman walking in Chesterford Gardens. This was followed by muggings in Oak Hill Park and Redington Road in July.

In all three incidents, the suspects were described as two black men, both with an athletic build and short hair, who fled the scene in a waiting getaway car. All three victims were women in their 40s.

Insp Nikki Babb, of Camden Police’s North Neighbourhood Policing Team, said investigating officers were keeping an “open mind” about possible links between the three attacks.

She described the close proximity and timing of the muggings as “rare” and urged Hampstead residents to stay vigilant.

“Be aware of chain-snatch thieves and keep jewellery out of sight,” she said. “Snatch robberies can involve violence or theft but the chance that this will ever happen to you is quite small.

“Plan journeys in advance. Avoid dark or deserted areas late at night. Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert to what’s going on around you.”

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The Chesterford Gardens attack took place on May 7 at about 7.30pm when a woman was approached from behind by a man who grabbed her wrist and snatched her Cartier watch.

The attacker and an accomplice were disturbed by passers-by and made off in a nearby black BMW 5 Series car.

On July 5, at around 7pm, a woman, heading for her home in Frognal, was robbed of £15,000 worth of jewellery, including a Rolex watch and her wedding and engagement rings, in Oak Hill Park.

On July 21, a woman walking along Redington Road at about 3pm was grabbed around the neck by a man who squeezed tightly as she tried to scream and ripped a £3,000 necklace from her.

The man and his accomplice were then spooked by approaching witnesses and fled, but not before stealing a further four rings, worth up to £16,000, a bracelet and the woman’s iPhone.

In the wake of the latest mugging, the number of officers patrolling in Hampstead has been boosted, with an extra 12 officers and five police community support officers drafted into the area for patrols last Friday.

Anyone with information about the muggings is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.