Two women dubbed the ‘Rolex Rippers’ are feared to have struck for the 22nd time – targeting another wealthy elderly man and stealing his expensive watch.
The thieves are thought to be behind the robbery of a man in his 70s outside his home in an upmarket part of Poole in Dorset.
The women have targeted men in affluent areas and close to exclusive golf clubs across southern England.
The latest incident is believed to be at least the 22nd, with the duo targeting men in Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey, Gloucestershire and Sussex.
In a lot of cases the woman have posed as charity workers with clipboards and have stolen watches from their victims without them realising as they sign a petition.
But other times they have been less subtle and simply ripped the expensive timepieces off the men’s wrists.
Detectives hunting two women dubbed the ‘Rolex Rippers’, who are believed to have targeted at least 22 elderly men’s expensive watches across southern England this year, released CCTV images
Dorset Police released grainy CCTV images of the two women and of a grey Toyota they are believed to have used to make their getaway
The thieves are thought to be behind the robbery of a man in his 70s outside his home in an upmarket part of Poole in Dorset (general view of the road)
In the latest incident a a woman in her 20s and another in her 40s approached a man outside his home in Cliff Drive, Poole, where average house prices are over £1million.
It is a stone’s throw away from Parkstone Golf Club, where a membership costs £2,000 a year.
The pair, who are thought to be Romanian and were wearing face masks, asked him about the name of the property and acted affectionately towards him.
He tried to push them away and did not notice until after they left his Rolex watch had been taken.
Police have also released the image of a grey car which is connected to the latest theft
A Dorset Police spokesman said: ‘A victim, a man aged in his 70s, was outside an address in Cliff Drive at around 2.40pm on Saturday 16 October 2021 when he was approached by two women.
‘They were asking about the name of the property, gave him a pencil and paper to write it down and were affectionate towards him.
‘He tried to push them off and as the women left the man realised the Rolex watch he had been wearing on his wrist was gone.
‘One of the women was described as being aged in her 40s and the other in her 20s. They were believed to be Romanian and were wearing face masks.
‘This incident follows a series of robberies and distraction thefts where Rolex watches have been stolen in recent months, in Dorset and elsewhere in the country.’
Detectives asked residents in the area to come forward with CCTV or dashcam footage which could assist their investigation.
Detective Sergeant Karen Penn said: ‘We are carrying out a number of enquiries into this latest incident and I would urge anyone with information that might assist our investigation to please come forward.
‘I am particularly keen to hear from any residents in the vicinity with home CCTV systems, or passing motorists with dashcams, who may have captured any relevant footage.
‘Our investigation into the wider series is also ongoing and we would continue to urge people to remain vigilant if they are wearing expensive watches or items of jewellery, particularly if they are approached in this manner.
‘Many of the victims are elderly and we would urge people with older relatives to discuss this with them and make them aware of this kind of offending that is taking place.’
Alan Bruce who previously had his £14,000 watch stolen by the two women dubbed the ‘Rolex Rippers’
The women are believed to have struck in Dorset multiple times in Poole, Wimborne, Wareham, Ferndown, Highcliffe and Poundbury.
Hampshire Police said they have at least ten victims, including two brothers, 85 and 91, targeted 80 miles apart in Gloucestershire and Surrey.
Many of the thefts have happened in the car parks of exclusive golf clubs.
Police warned elderly men to be on their guard while wearing high-value watches when out in public.
Both women were previously said to be aged in their 20s or 30s and 5ft 2ins and 5ft 9ins tall with dark hair and Eastern European accents.
But the description of an older women in the latest theft has raised the possibility that more people may be involved.
The spate of robberies are thought to have begun on May 19 at Stoneham Golf Club near Southampton.