Man robs Hampstead teacher at knifepoint for £30,000 engagement ring outside Maida Vale home
- Credit: Archant
A Hampstead teacher was robbed at knifepoint for her £30,000 diamond engagement ring as she opened her front door.
The 27-year-old, who wishes to remain anonymous, spoke of her terror as she was put in a headlock and threatened in the porch of her Maida Vale home yesterday at 6.30pm.
The robber demanded she give him her £30,000 three-carat engagement ring from off her finger.
He only fled when the woman falsely told him that a passer-by had seen what was happening. Thanks to her quick thinking, she escaped the terrifying incident unscathed, but is appealing to anyone who may have seen the ring.
She said: “All I was thinking was, how can I get out of this safely and quickly.
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“At one point, he said ‘show me your ears’ but I misheard and thought he said he was going to chop off my ears. I was really afraid.”
The teacher was arriving home from work when a black man of below-average height approached her from behind as she stood in her porch.
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He grabbed her around the neck and put her in a headlock, and she begun shouting for help.
When she tried to elbow him off, he said: “Don’t make me pull out my knife.” He then showed her the blade.
The man first tried to take the ring off her finger but then demanded she remove it because her fingers were swollen.
He also asked for her earrings, but could not take them because they were screwed in.
When he demanded she let him into her flat, she lied and said someone on the street had seen the incident.
He then fled, but ordered her to stay inside her flat so that she could not see which direction he went.
The robbery was captured in full on CCTV, police told the victim.
The man is described as being in his mid-30s and was wearing a woollen hat.
Speaking for the first time about the robbery, the victim, who got engaged in September, told the Ham&High: “I want to put it out there, to make sure people are aware that this is happening, and people can be vigilant, not just for my own sake but for others as well.”
Her mother said: “They captured it on CCTV and the police said she was very brave.
“I’m proud of her. Apparently she was amazing, the police said.
“The ring is unique but I’m just glad she wasn’t hurt,” she added.
“We need to let people know that they shouldn’t be scared to help others.”
The ring is encrusted with one large three-carat diamond and lots of smaller gems around the outside and inside the band of the ring.
The robbery follows a spate of violent muggings in Hampstead and the surrounding area.
On January 4 in a separate incident, a 33-year-old man was robbed at knifepoint at rush hour in Brondesbury Road, Queen’s Park, for his bag containing money, his passport and driving licence.
And on November 3, a mother was violently robbed on her doorstep in Kidderpore Gardens, Hampstead, by two masked men at about 7pm as she returned home with her young child.
The robbers made off with a ring and her watch.