‘Hugger Muggers’ strike in upmarket Knightsbridge


Police are warning the public following an incident involving a Malaysian student.


By Katie Richardson

‘Hugger Muggers’ targeted a student in Knightsbridge, prompting the police to issue a warning to the public.

The term ‘Hugger Muggers’ refers to robberies or distraction thefts where the victim is approached in the street, in what appears to be a friendly way, before having their valuables stolen.

The 32-year-old Malaysian student was approached outside the Sheraton Park Tower hotel, at 3.30am on September 9, by two men asking him for a cigarette light.

The men were chased by the hotel security but managed to get away with the victim’s £3000 watch.

A spokesperson for the Kensington Metropolitan Police said: “This is a classic case of theft where the thieves come across as friendly and before you know it, your wallet is gone.”

The police spokesman explained how they usually target people who have been drinking or are walking home on their own.

“We are urging the public to be aware of over-friendly strangers and to be aware of their surroundings, especially if they are on a night out,” he said.

The two male suspects are described as 25-30 years old and approximately 5 foot 8 inches tall.

One suspect is white and the other is thought to be Arabic in appearance.

Tristan Nesbitt, Manager at the Sheraton Park Tower hotel, explained how his security officers were alerted to the incident and are helping the police with their investigation.

Mr Nesbitt said: “As always, the safety and security of our guests and associates is our paramount priority.”

The majority of ‘Hugger Muggings’ have occurred in Westminster but are now spreading to other London boroughs.

According to the Metropolitan Police crime figures, the number of personal robberies in Kensington and Chelsea, have risen 4.3% in the last year.

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