Undercover Cops Crack Down on Rolex Ripper Gangs in Central London

Met police recently released the details of their latest undercover operation targeting luxury watch thieves across various London boroughs.

According to the Met, officers made 31 arrests over nine months, which in turn led to 27 successful charges and 21 convictions.

In a remarkable operation spanning nine months, London’s Metropolitan Police successfully brought down notorious Rolex Ripper gangs operating in the heart of the city. This undercover mission resulted in 31 arrests, 27 successful charges, and 21 convictions, sending a strong message to criminals preying on luxury watch owners.

Intelligence and Tactics

Metropolitan Police officers meticulously identified when, where, and how these criminals targeted victims leaving pubs and nightclubs, many of whom were inebriated and vulnerable. These gangs had a keen eye for high-end watches from brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, and Audemars Piguet.

Incidents were most prevalent on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays between 11pm and 4am, highlighting the dangerous peak hours for watch thefts.

The Rolex Rippers are using knives and guns to violently take the valuable watches whilst their victims are walking in London, as reported by Metro on 27 Mar 2023.

Effective Deterrence

The results are promising, with a 28% reduction in watch robberies in targeted boroughs during the first operation. Year-on-year comparisons also showed a decline in these crimes.



20 out of the 21 thieves that have been convicted so far.

This operation’s success showcases the Metropolitan Police’s dedication to precision-based crime-fighting techniques and its commitment to keeping communities safe.

Aligned with the SafetyNet Scheme developed by UK Protection further confirming the scheme’s need to be rolled out across all UK major cities.

Below is the CCTV captured by officers during one sting.

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