31 arrested, 21 convicted following luxury watch robbery sting operations in London

Following a spate of luxury watch robberies across London, the Metropolitan Police carried out a pair of successful undercover sting operations.

As of January 17, 31 suspects have been arrested, 21 have been convicted, and 14 have been sentenced to a total of 26 years in prison.

According to the Met, between April and September 2022, 300 luxury watches were reported stolen in the boroughs of Westminster, Kensington, and Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham. 

The suspects would target mostly intoxicated people as they left pubs or nightclubs, offering them drugs and/or sex workers before "taking them to quiet side streets to rob them." In some cases, suspects would simply "approach them from behind before violently attacking them for their property."

Authorities were able to utilize data, and "pinpointed hotspots" where the suspects were "causing misery," and before long, two sting operations were organized.

Between October and December 2022 and March and October 2023, undercover officers posed as civilians with expensive timepieces, and managed to catch suspects red-handed.

Abdi Mohamed, Sayid Mohamed, Abdullahi Osman, Omar Hussein, Soul Kwayke-Amgpomah, Damilola Odunoren, Emmanuel Sejilola, Mohammed Hamdani, Nahim Ahmed, Yousef Garef, and Amin Abdelkader, Minhaj Hussein, Ahmed Abdi, Faysal Jelali, Mohamed Khadir, Shamsi Ali, Sharmarke Ali, Isaaq Mohamud, Diego Farquharson, and Abdul Azizmohamed were all subsequently convicted of robbery.

The operations took place in Soho, which along with Mayfair and areas of Kensington and Chelsea accounted for 40 percent of watch robberies in the city.

As a result, not only were suspects apprehended, but the watch robbery rate actually decreased in all the aforementioned boroughs by 28 percent after the first operation and 15.8 percent after the second.

"This is a rare chance to give the public insight into the work done by our undercover officers, which resulted in 31 robbers arrested in a 12-month period, all caught red-handed trying to steal high value watches in the heart of the West End," Met Intelligence Commander Ben Russell said.

"By targeting the people causing the most harm and the locations most frequently linked to crime, we are having a greater impact on keeping our communities safe. Undercover operations will always carry an element of personal danger and, while we risk assess all our operations thoroughly, all the officers involved demonstrated extraordinary courage and determination."

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