TWO British pensioners have had their Rolex watches violently ‘ripped’ from their wrists while seated outside cafes in broad-daylight in Spain’s Costa del Sol.
Both attacks happened in the centre of La Cala de Mijas in what were described as ‘exactly the same circumstances’.
The brazen robber wore a full-face helmet and after both heists sprinted to a sports motorbike where an accomplice whisked the two of them away.
Christine Collins, 69, was having lunch after church outside Casa Barella on Calle Torremolinos with husband John, 72, when the attacker viciously wrenched from her €20,000 Rolex from her wrist.
‘‘He grabbed my arms and pinned them behind my head,’’ Christine told the Olive Press, adding her wrist and neck were badly bruised.
‘‘The attack was so vicious I could have been killed.’’
Christine’s neighbour Mark, 50, who was also at lunch with his wife and octogenarian mother-in-law, managed to throw a chair at the robber, knocking the luxury watch from his hand.
Cecil Dickinson, 74, was not so lucky.
He told the Olive Press he was seated outside Cafe Boulevard in December last year when a man stole his Rolex Submariner, recently valued at over €8,000, before escaping with an accomplice by motorbike.
‘‘We were sitting down when this arm came round my throat, and I thought it was just a friend mucking about,’’ Cecil told the Olive Press.
‘‘But the man pulled me down to the ground and we writhed around until he ripped the watch off my wrist.
‘‘I threw a punch at him, but he had a full-face helmet on and I busted my knuckles and it took the skin off the back of my hand.’’
Cecil went to hospital after Guardia Civil were called to scene, but despite an additional eyewitness account of the attack, which took place at 2pm, he said no one has been arrested.
Both Christine and Cecil said the attacker, dressed in motorbike leathers, ran away to a sports motorbike waiting nearby.
Christine’s husband, John, said the bike was covered by a plastic sheet to avoid identification, though Cecil believed it was a 600cc Suzuki.
Cecil, who moved from Newcastle to Mijas Golf with his wife 13 years ago, said he believed the two robbers had been watching him for some time before making the attack.
His wife, Sandra, told the Olive Press: ‘’I think they could be targeting old people who probably won’t fight back.
‘‘It’s not as if we were on our own—we were on a busy street surrounded by lots of people.
‘‘I haven’t been back to the restaurant because of the shock, but others have told me they always sit facing the street.’’
Both Cecil and Christine urged British expats to be ‘aware’ when wearing expensive jewelry out and about in La Cala.
If you too have had your watch stolen in La Cala in similar circumstances, please contact The Olive Press on 951273575.