Honeytrap ‘Rolex Ripper’ jailed for £16,000 theft as female gang target old men

A 'Rolex Ripper' gang member has been jailed after snatching a man's £16,000 watch as she hugged him on the street.

Romanian Stefania Tinica, is the first of a crime group made up largely of women from Eastern Europe — to be sentenced to prison after a spate of almost identical thefts around the country.

Before speeding off with a pensioner's £15,930 Rolex Submariner near a posh golf club in Dorset on May 30 last year, Tanica was busted by Simon Kelly who clocked her attempts to nab his £10,000 Rolex.

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Tinica pleaded guilty to robbery and attempted robbery at Chester Crown Court and has now been sent behind bars for 40 months, WalesOnline reports.

The 40-year-old and an unknown female accomplice struck in exclusive neighbourhoods at either end of the country five months apart.

Tinica relieved one victim of his £15,000 Rolex watch without him realising when she tried to hug and kiss him and attempted to do the same to another man who fought back.

A court heard the attempted robbery happened on January 3 last year by Alderley Edge Golf Club in Cheshire. Tinica approached Simon Kelly and tried to take his £10,000 Rolex Submariner watch off of him.

Mr Kelly managed to break free and push one of them away. Tinica and her accomplice gave up and fled.

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Police recovered DNA from Mr Kelly's wrist and although they identified Tinica, they couldn't trace her until May 30 when she struck again near to the exclusive Parkstone Golf Club in Poole, Dorset.

Her 75-year-old victim was walking down the road when Tinica stopped him. She suddenly put her arms around him and tried to grab his arm to get him to touch her. The pensioner broke free and saw her get into a car before realising his £15,930 Rolex Submariner timepiece was missing.

Tinica was eventually arrested last November while trying to board a plane at Luton Airport.

The organised crime gang are thought to have carried out more than 30 near-identical thefts across southern England last year.

Alan Bruce, 63, was also robbed of his £14,000 watch at 11am in Wimborne, Dorset on July 15 last year.

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Thefts took place in counties including Dorset, Hampshire, West Sussex, Surrey and Gloucestershire as well as the one in Cheshire. It is not known whether Tinica was ever linked to any of other crimes, although she was only charged with two.

Tinica's victim in the Canford Cliffs attack said on Tuesday: "I consider myself very lucky that she has been caught. The insurance company were great and the police were very good too but I'm p****d off I lost the watch.

"I wore it every day, it was sentimental to me. But I've been to every shop imaginable trying to find one and they just looked at me like I was an idiot.

"Now I just have a Swatch that cost me £83. I'm definitely more wary now, the place where it happened was the last place you would expect it, it's a very quiet road."


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