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Three men convicted after American tourist robbed of £100K watch at knifepoint

Three men have been convicted after an American tourist was robbed of a £100,000 watch at knifepoint in Chelsea.

Thomas Lenaghan, 23, of Rylston Road, Fulham, and Ronnie Fitzgerald, 20, from Romford, 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.

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

At around 12.15am on November 16, 2021, three men were crossing Pavilion Road in Chelsea when they were approached by a group dressed in black and wearing balaclavas.

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

His father was threatened with a knife, which cut through his coat but did not cause injury, as he tried to stop the attack.

Their friend was also threatened with a stun gun and forced to hand over her watch, worth about £200.

The car they were using, a Jaguar F-PACE, was stolen and displaying false plates, meaning it also proved difficult to identify and track down.

Officers narrowed down who the car had been stolen from and were able to work out where the car had been before and after the robbery, leading to footage of the robbers without masks.

The photographs of their faces were circulated and led to the identification of Lenaghan, Stovell and Fitzgerald.

The car was found in a car park in North End Road and a forensic examination linked the men to the vehicle.

DC Robert Rodak, who worked on the investigation, said: “This was a shocking and violent robbery which understandably left the victims shaken and feeling incredibly fortunate they did not suffer more serious injury.

“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 Lenaghan, Fitzgerald and Stovell off our streets.”

The three convicted men will be sentenced on December 9.

Pictured top: John Stovell, Thomas Lenaghan and Ronnie Fitzgerald (Picture: The Met)

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