WATCH | Dancing thief's fancy footwork caught on camera as he slyly steals £9k Rolex
A sly street thief is caught on camera breaking out a bizarre dance to distract victims before stealing their Rolex watches.
But he’s now enjoyed his last tango in Birmingham after we caught the nimble-footed thief prowling the city centre.
We’ve released CCTV footage showing Abdelhadi Bahou Jabour, who lives in Nottingham, approaching a couple in Colmore Row at midnight on July 10.
He strikes up some banter, high-fiving the pair, before launching into his street moves that sees him grind up against the woman before flicking out his leg.
Unbeknown to her it’s a finely-tuned distraction technique as within seconds he’s slipped her £9,000 Rolex watch from her wrist.
Bahou Jabour then tries the same trick on her partner but fails as the watch snags on the man’s shirt cuff.
CCTV shows him jogging off into St Phillip’s Cathedral grounds where he stumbles across a woman also wearing a Rolex.
This time he approached her singing “It’s Coming Home” before grabbing her and trying to take her watch off her wrist too. But this victim realised something was wrong and resisted, so Bahou Jabour twisted her arm causing her pain and fear before finally slipping the designer watch worth £4,700 off her arm, and running away.
Birmingham city centre officer PC Mat Evans – the nemesis of pickpockets for a decade – got on the case and after an extensive CCTV trawl uncovered a crystal clear image of the offender.
Determined to find the offender, he joined a colleague on plain clothes patrols on the evening of 30 July and, whilst mixing with revellers, spotted Bahou Jabour in New Street where he was arrested and charged with two robberies and an attempted robbery.
As part of the investigation Bahou Jabour’s mobile phone was examined and pictures of a house party showed associates Abdul Boychaala and Hussen Ehab, from Nottingham, who were both jailed last month for the same ruse. They had targeted students for their mobile phones with the same leg locking moves, but dogged CCTV work by Nottinghamshire Police helped nab the pair.
Bahou Jabour, who refused to tell us where he was living or what he had done with the stolen watches, went on to admit two robberies and an attempted robbery at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday (1 Sept). The 24-year-old is due to be sentenced on 6 October.
PC Evans, said: “This technique, where a criminal dances with their victim to distract them, has been referred to as the ‘Ronaldinho’ after the famous dancing footballer.
“Normally pickpockets try to steal using stealth so you won’t even feel it. But this technique uses the opposite approach, using excessive contact to misdirect your attention away from the sensation of having your pockets emptied or, in this case, your watch stolen.
“This is not a skill you pick up overnight, it requires many hours of training and practice to perfect, and is very effective.
“I’ve seen the ‘Ronaldinho’ technique used before, but this offender’s particular dance moves were the most bizarre I’ve ever seen. Part Bruce Forsyth, part Artful Dodger.
“I would always advise people to be on their guard when on a night out, as professional pickpockets are just as active then as they are during the day. The best protection you can have is to recognise the signs of how pickpockets do what they do, get away from them, and raise the alarm.”