Watch robbery: Two men convicted of violently stealing £100,000 Rolex in Chelsea

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“This was a shocking and violent robbery which left the victims shaken.”

Two men have been convicted of the violent robbery of a £100,000 watch in Chelsea.

Thomas Lenaghan, 23, of Rylston Road, Fulham, and Ronnie Fitzgerald, 20, of Valence Avenue, Dagenham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob, threatening a person with a bladed article in a public place, possession of a stun gun and threatening a person with a stun gun.

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While John Stovell, 50, of North End Road, Kensington, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods and assisting an offender.

Thomas Lenaghan. Photo: Met PoliceThomas Lenaghan. Photo: Met Police
Thomas Lenaghan. Photo: Met Police | Met

The three men appeared at Isleworth Crown Court on Wednesday, October 5, and will be sentenced at the same court in December.

The victims, a group of three men, were crossing Pavilion Road, Kensington, at 12.15am on November 16, 2021, and were approached by a group dressed in black wearing balaclavas.

One of the victims, aged 31, was pushed to the floor and hit from behind by a stun gun, before the group surrounded him and demanded he hand over his Rolex, worth around £100,000.

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Ronnie Fitzgerald. Photo: Met PoliceRonnie Fitzgerald. Photo: Met Police
Ronnie Fitzgerald. Photo: Met Police | Met

His father was threatened with a knife, which cut his coat, as he tried to stop the attack.

And their friend was threatened with a stun gun and forced to hand over her £200 watch, before the group then got into a waiting car, a Jaguar F-PACE, which sped off.

DC Robert Rodak, from the Met Police, said: “This was a shocking and violent robbery which left the victims shaken and feeling incredibly fortunate they did not suffer more serious injury.

The Jaguar used in the robbery. Photo: Met PoliceThe Jaguar used in the robbery. Photo: Met Police
The Jaguar used in the robbery. Photo: Met Police | Met

“Everyone should be able to walk through our streets unaffected by this type of crime and that is why we are doing everything we can to take offenders like these off our streets.”

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Police officers worked jointly with the Met’s Flying Squad - an elite unit of specialist robbery detectives devoted to tackling violent crime - to catch Lenaghan, Fitzgerald and Stovell.

“We will continue to target and relentlessly pursue robbers who commit violent crime in London,” DC Rodak added.

John Stovell. Photo: Met PoliceJohn Stovell. Photo: Met Police
John Stovell. Photo: Met Police | Met

The attack was caught on CCTV but officers struggled to identify the group as their faces were covered and the car they fled in was stolen, with false plates.

Painstaking work saw detectives track down the vehicle via a sticker on the windshield - and find further CCTV from before and after the robbery, showing the robbers without masks.

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The vehicle was tracked down to a carpark in Fulham, and the three men were identified - while forensics on the car linked them to the Jaguar.

DCS Owain Richards, from Kensington and Chelsea police, said: “We have been focusing our resources in hotspot areas where we know watch robberies have increased.

“Our dedicated team is tirelessly tracking down those responsible. We hope this case demonstrates anyone committing these offences will be identified and brought to justice.”