Woman jailed for robbing elderly men in golf club car parks

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 15, 2022 07:49

A Romanian woman who was part of a gang known as the ‘Rolex Rippers’ has been jailed for 40 months for stealing watches from predominantly elderly men, typically in golf club car parks.

Stefania Tinica is the first member of the gang to be convicted.

The 40-year-old and an unknown female accomplice stole from several men over a period of several months, mostly in southern England.
One of their common tactics was to hug their victims – and then steal their watches as they were doing so.

A court heard one attempted robbery happened in January 2021 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.

The ‘Rolex Rippers’ have robbed another man

Police issue warning to golfers about Rolex thieves

Police recovered DNA from Mr Kelly’s wrist and although they identified Tinica as the assailant they were unable to trace her.

On May 30 she was by Parkstone Golf Club in Dorset when she stopped a 75-year-old victim. 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.

Police identified Tinica from CCTV footage obtained from a nearby property but the watch was never recovered.

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

The organised crime gang, believed by police to be made up of mostly Eastern European women, are thought to have carried out more than 30 near-identical thefts across southern England last year.

Thefts also took place in Hampshire, West Sussex, Surrey and Gloucestershire.

It is not known whether Tinica was ever linked to any of the other crimes, although she was only charged with two.

She pleaded guilty to robbery and attempted robbery and was jailed for 40 months at Chester Crown Court.

Another victim included Robin Haycock who was targeted for his £20,000 Rolex Daytona in the car park at Ferndown Golf Club, Dorset, last July.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 15, 2022 07:49
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