Friday, February 17, 2012

Police probe possible criminal links after street cleaner keeps finding expensive watches in drains

Four expensive watches found in drains in Essex could have been "stashed" there by a criminal, police have said. Two Rolex watches, including one worth £21,000, and two others of an unknown brand were found by a street cleaner near Chalkwell railway station. PC Patrick Soontorn said officers were investigating to see if they were linked to any robberies or burglaries. Drain technician Arron Large stands to keep the watches unless the owner comes forward within 30 days.

PC Soontorn, one of the investigating officers, said: "To find one watch in a drain is one thing. To find three more within feet of one another is another thing so that's part of our investigation. It possibly could be a burglary or a robbery. Someone may have stashed it there and may have forgotten where they've thrown it." Mr Large, 28, from Rayleigh, Essex, found the 18-carat gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph last week.

On Wednesday, he found three more watches in drains, including another believed to be a Rolex. Mr Large said he discovered the second Rolex watch at about 06:30 GMT in a drain close to where he found the first. Two more unbranded watches were then discovered at about 12:00 GMT in the drain where the first Rolex was found. Further checks are due to take place to verify the latest finds.

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Mr Large, a Cory Environmental contractor who works in the south Essex area, said he had been shocked by the finds. "The only things I've found in the past are one and two pence pieces so I can't believe this," he said. Anyone who believes the watch was theirs should contact Essex Police. Officers have said "only honest people need apply".

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