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Victims of robber gang speak out in effort to catch culprits

Eli and Giles Waite outside their Watches of Distinction shop in Lymington (Photo: Steve West)
Eli and Giles Waite outside their Watches of Distinction shop in Lymington (Photo: Steve West)

A WATCH dealer who was attacked with his wife by a gang of robbers has revealed his identity in a bid to help find the culprits.

Giles and Eli Waite, who run Watches of Distinction in Lymington High Street, were targeted on the driveway of their home in Stopples Lane, Hordle.

Now Mr Waite (54) has spoken out in a YouTube interview with fellow watch dealer Paul Thorpe about the incident, which happened last Thursday shortly before 6.30pm.

It left Eli with a suspected broken jaw.

Mr Waite said: “There was a guy in a balaclava and he just punched me in the face, and next thing I knew I was on the ground. I was struggling and swearing a bit and the guy punched me in the mouth.

“Another guy was next to him,” he continued. “Then I was aware of my wife screaming and the guy was shouting he wanted my watch, which I eventually gave them.

“As soon as I gave them the watch they were just legging it out of the driveway.”

Mr Waite's interview with Mr Thorpe, which was posted on YouTube on Sunday, followed an A&T report on Friday when he asked not be identified.

Mr Waite said he ran after the group and saw them get into a Honda Civic that was “silvery blue” in colour. The registration was CE08 UAA or similar, investigating police officers have said.

Mr Waite said his Casio watch and his wife’s Seiko, which the robbers also took, were not high-value pieces.

“We just do not wear watches outside of the shop and haven’t done so for a long time,” explained Mr Waite.

“It’s bizarre that these guys would be prepared to do long stretches of time [for the watches],” he told Mr Thorpe.

By this morning (Monday) the interview had been viewed almost 14,500 times. Many locals have also shared it on Facebook in a bid to help the police catch the robbers.

DS Jamie Wiseman, from the western investigation team, said: “We really want to hear from anyone who was in the Stopples Lane area who saw a vehicle matching this description, or drivers who may have dash cam footage of this car.”

Anyone with information should call Hampshire police on 101 and quote 44200075102. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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