Man jailed for 11 months for stealing watches from people’s wrists

A man has been jailed for 11 months for stealing watches from people’s wrists in central London.

Zajaria Lalouii, 29 of no fixed address appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday, 31 January where he was convicted of two counts of robbery and sentenced to a total of 11 months imprisonment and ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.

In the early hours of News Years Day 2019, officers from Westminster’s Operation Bobcat – a team designated to tackle violent crime in and around the borough – caught Lalouii in the act of taking a Burberry watch from his victim’s wrist on Heddon Street, W1.

Lalouii, taking advantage of the celebrations, had pretended to dance with the victim, wrapped his leg around the victim’s legs to distract him while at the same time taking the watch.

The victim, a 23-year-old man, was not injured during this incident.

Officers arrested Lalouii nearby on suspicion of robbery. He was taken to a west London police station. When searched, he was found to be in possession of a Rolex watch that had been stolen on 31 December at 03:00hrs from a 35-year-old man on Marylebone Lane, W1.

PC Andy Marsh, of Westminster Borough, said: “While nobody was injured as a result of these thefts, the effects of becoming a victim of robbery run far deeper than a loss of property.

“I hope that the conviction and sentencing of Lalouii brings a measure of comfort to the victims.”