TV’s Judge Rinder offers cash reward to catch ‘three boys in balaclavas on bikes’ who mugged him for his phone
- TV’s Robert Rinder said he was targeted in South Hampstead around 10pm
- He said three boys in balaclavas laughed at him as they stole his mobile phone
- Rinder has offered a reward for the safe return of his mobile phone
TV legal star Robert Rinder has offered a reward for the recovery of his mobile phone after he was mugged on a London street.
The star of Judge Rinder said he was targeted by three boys wearing balaclavas on bicycles in South Hampstead.
Writing on Twitter, Rinder, 42, revealed: ‘I’ve just had my phone grabbed out my hands by 3 boys wearing balaclavas on bikes (Finchley Road & Canfield gardens).
TV legal eagle Robert Rinder has offered a reward after he was mugged this evening on a London street
Rinder said he was targeted in South Hampstead by three boys wearing balaclavas on bicycles
Rinder was mugged near Finchley Road Station by three boys wearing balaclavas
‘They laughed as I shouted to drop it. I’m in shock but am insured & privileged. Others are less lucky. Help me find these people & stop them (financial reward).’
A Scotland Yard spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Police are investigating after receiving a report of a theft at approximately 20.40 hrs on Wednesday, 24 March on Finchley Road.
‘Three males dressed in black approached the victim and took his mobile phone.
‘Enquiries are on-going. No arrests at this early stage.’
Last weekend, Rinder was been named winner of ITV special All Star Musicals after dazzling with his rendition of Be Our Guest from Beauty And The Beast.
The one-off programme saw celebrities perform songs from musical theatre.
The TV star competed against ITV political editor Robert Peston, actor Barney Walsh, television doctor Ranj Singh and actresses Luisa Bradshaw-White and Jessica Hynes.
Rinder opened the show dressed as candlestick Lumiere and impressed the expert panel of Elaine Paige, Trevor Dion Nicholas and Samantha Barks with his showmanship.
Nicholas told Rinder he was ‘dripping with showbiz glitz and glamour’ while Paige praised his ‘pristine’ vocals and said he was ‘guilty of an excellent performance’.
The judges gave him 30 stars out of a possible 30.
He was named winner of the show after the scores of the expert panel were combined with the votes of the virtual studio audience.
Rinder said: ‘I was watching backstage and the talent, the beauty, the enthusiasm and the joy of everybody, I’ve had the best time ever and have done it in front of people I admire so much.
‘Open the theatres and bring us more joy.’
During the show, broadcaster Peston performed Luck Be A Lady from Guys And Dolls.
Afterwards he said: ‘That was the scariest thing I’ve ever done by quite a wide margin.’
Barks told him: ‘You did not make a fool of yourself at all, this is so different from the guy I’m used to seeing on my TV giving politicians a hard time.’
Walsh performed Flash Bang Wallop from Half A Sixpence, while Hynes performed When You’re Good To Mama from Chicago, and Singh sang Come What May from Moulin Rouge.
Bradshaw-White performed This Is Me from The Greatest Showman.
The programme, hosted by John Barrowman, also featured a performance by Carrie Hope Fletcher from the new musical Cinderella.
Met Police provides advice on avoiding mobile phone theft
The Met Police said mobile phone theft is a major problem in London with thousands of devices taken each year.
Traditionally, thieves would pickpocket their victims or use table surfing.
However, over the past couple of years the number of thefts involving criminals using mopeds or bicycles has increased dramatically.
The Met advises mobile phone users to be aware of their surroundings to reduce the chance of having their handset stolen, especially in high threat areas.
According to Scotland Yard:
- If you need to call or use your phone on the street, look out for anyone on a bike or a moped near you. Look up, look out
- Make it quick so you don’t become distracted
- Don’t text while you’re walking – you won’t notice what’s going on around you
- If that’s not possible, stand away from the roadside, close to a building or wall, so no one can come up behind you
- Going hands-free can prevent a thief from snatching your phone out of your hand
Scotland Yard insists it has a specialist team, Operation Venice, tasked with targeting moped and bicycle crime.
They are also monitoring stores that sell secondhand electronics to prevent them from dealing in stolen phones.
The areas around Camden, Islington, Westminster, Hackney and Haringey have the biggest problems of mobile phone theft.
Other advice includes:
- You must switch on your phone’s security features to protect your phone
- Use the keypad lock so that thieves cannot immediately access your phone, or use the biometric authentication if your phone has it (finger print or facial recognition)
- Your phone may have other security features you can use – these could allow you to wipe data, lock your handset, or prevent a thief from restoring a phone to its factory settings from another internet device
- Consider installing an anti-theft app. These can be an effective way of helping police trace your phone and identify the thief
Source: Metropolitan Police