Travel agent who stole £5,000 Rolex is jailed

A travel agent who attempted to snatch a necklace from one jewellery shop before stealing a watch worth nearly £5,000 from another just six hours later, has been jailed.

Benjamin Maxwell travelled from London to target jewellery shops in the Midlands, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard yesterday.

Mr Howard Searle, prosecuting, told the court Maxwell first targeted the G and K jewellery shop on High Street, Dudley on October 17 last year. He said: “It was about 10 o’clock in the morning when the defendant was served, and he asked to see a necklace.”

The court heard that Miss Jones kept hold of the necklace which was worth £2,700 during their conversation. He had asked about how much it weighed in a bid to take hold of it and then joked that she did not want to let it go.

Mr Searle said: “When it was clear she was not going to let it go, he tried to snatch it from her.”

The court was shown CCTV of the attempted snatch and when he was unsuccessful he ran out of the shop.

At around 4pm the same day Maxwell walked into the City Jewellers in Lichfield.

Mr Searle said: “He asked to look at a particular Rolex watch, which was worth £4,995. He immediately ran out of the shop with it in his hand.”

Maxwell was later arrested after being identified via CCTV. Mr Searle said Maxwell has a number of offences on his record including shoplifting and fraud, and at the time of the offence was subject to two community orders.

Maxwell of Chapman Square, Merton in London, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and theft at a previous hearing.

Judge John Warner told him: “It was clear these offences were premeditated and you aimed to succeed in getting high value jewellery.”

He jailed Maxwell for 18 months.