Ex Arsenal Player Lauren reunited with his watch
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Uploaded on Nov 14, 2011
Former Arsenal footballer Laureano 'Lauren' Bisan-Etame Mayer flew to London to be reunited with a high value watch stolen from him in March 2005.
On Wednesday 6 July detectives from the Tower Hamlets Crime Squad executed search warrants at addresses in Essex and east London.
During the searches over 400 items were recovered, including high value jewellery, antiques, silverware and Lauren's Rolex Daytona Watch. Also seized were several air rifles and a pump action 308 Remington rifle (decommissioned).
The rare stolen goods are worth in excess of £500,000.
Experts state that many of the watches recovered, both wrist and pocket, are sought after and highly collectable. There are a number that have not been seen in working order for several years. The majority of them were produced in limited numbers and would be identifiable to owners.
To date the investigation has identified a number of the watches as being stolen in armed robberies on jewellers, household burglaries and thefts across the southeast of England from 1994 to late 2010.
Detectives from Tower Hamlets have been working hard to reunite victims with their property. They discovered one of the watches belonged to Lauren when enquiries with Rolex revealed information about how Lauren's watch was stolen. Subsequently it was only with the help of Lauren's previous employer, Arsenal Football Club, that officers were able to trace the former player in order to reunite him with his property.
Lauren was reunited with his watch at New Scotland Yard today (Monday 14 November) at 10:00hrs.
In order to give the items back to their rightful owners detectives have photographed all of the property and set up a Flickr page in the hope that owners will come forward to identify them. They will also be displaying some of the items during a media event at New Scotland Yard today (Monday).
It is hoped the Flickr page, containing over 200 images, entitled "Tower Hamlets - Operation Avitus" will allow the public to search through pictures of the stolen items to try to identify anything that might belong to them. Officers are appealing to anyone, who has had property of this type stolen to visit the site and see if they recognise their property.
Detective Sergeant Richard George of the Tower Hamlets Crime Squad said: "We are delighted to be able to reunite Lauren with his watch. We are utilising every tool available to us to identify as many victims as possible.
"Using Flickr means we can display all of the property in an easily accessible way. We hope that victims will look through the images and recognise their property."
If you do believe any of the stolen items could be yours, you are asked to contact Tower Hamlets Crime Squad on 020 8217 3743; alternatively email email@example.com to arrange to come in and view the property.
+ A 73-year-old man was arrested for handling stolen goods during the search warrants executed on 6 July in east London and Essex. He has been bailed to return to an east London police station in December pending further inquiries.
Please note this advice for persons who believe they may have a claim on the property:
- You will be asked for identification
- Proof of ownership
- Any photographs that are held by you showing the item/Insurance claims
- And you will be required to make a statement
The Flickr page can be accessed by following these instructions:
1) Visit the Metropolitan Police website www.met.police.co.uk
2) Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the 'Flickr' icon
3) You will now be on the MPS Flickr page, click More Sets and then on Tower Hamlets - Operation Avitus in the right column
4) You should now be able to view all of the images
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