Robbers in Derby steal phones by asking victims for the time

Posted on 21st February 2014

Detectives investigating robberies in Derby are urging people to be cautious if they are approached by a stranger who asks what the time is.

Several incidents have been reported to police recently whereby a robber has approached a pedestrian and asked them for the time. When the victim takes their phone out to check the time, the robber steals it.

At around 1.30am on Thursday, February 20, a man was walking along Lower Dale Road when a man came up to him and enquired about the time. When the victim took his phone out, the robber tried to take it from him and the pair struggled. The victim managed to run away.

A man has been charged with robbing a man in Sinfin Lane at around 5am on Thursday, February 20. The 24-year-old victim told police that a man on a bicycle rode up to him and asked for the time, taking his mobile phone when he took it out from his pocket.

Ashley Parsons (28), of Athol Close, Sinfin, has been charged with robbery and appeared before magistrates in Derby today (Friday, February 21).

Detective Sergeant Gareth Fuller is part of Operation Everest, a specialist team set up to investigate robberies. He said: “We want to make people aware of this particular type of crime and urge them to be vigilant when approached by strangers.

“Don’t get your phone out when walking alone and if someone asks you what the time is, don’t show them that you’re carrying a mobile phone.”

Anyone with information can call Operation Everest on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.