A student was left unconscious in the heart of London's West End after a hugger mugger grabbed him round the neck and tore a £5,000 Rolex watch from his wrist.
The 24-year-old victim had been out for the night with friends when he got chatting to a man on Regent's Street who asked him for a cigarette. As they carried on walking the pair began talking about martial arts.
The student then found an arm across his throat which was squeezed so tight, he passed out. The CCTV footage shows the victim dropping to the ground, with his legs crumpling beneath him as he loses consciousness for a few moments.
The £5,000 Rolex Submariner watch was then torn from his wrist.
– Detective Constable Michael Heaney, Met Police
The suspect targeted his victim carefully, choosing someone who was a bit the worse for wear after a night out, alone and smartly dressed.
The method he uses is not something we have seen before in this area and is a concern. Had the suspect applied more pressure the victim could have been far more seriously injured. As it was, he was just badly shaken.
We are asking anyone with information to please come forward - do you recognise the suspect? Did you see him running from the area after the robbery?
- The suspect is described as of Arab appearance (he told the victim he was Algerian)
- Wearing a dark baseball-type jacket, dark blue jeans and a black baseball cap
- He was bald with stubble, 5ft 8ins and of muscular build
Anyone who can help is asked to call police on 0207 321 7513 or, if you wish to remain anonymous, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.