Police searching for original owners of 168 collectable timepieces.
A London police force has found itself in possession of a huge hoard of luxury watches after searching the premises of suspects at addresses in Essex and east London.
Tower Hamlets police force is now in possession if 168 watches that it suspects are stolen property. Watches in the hoard include models from Rolex, Vulcain, Ulysse Nardin, TAG Heuer, Sir John Bennett and Omega, as well as a selection of pocket watches.
The watches form just part of a larger haul that included silverware, fine jewellery and antiques that police are estimating to be worth more than £500,000. The items are believed to have been stolen during armed robberies on jewellers, household burglaries and thefts across the Southeast between 1994 and 2010.
Tower Hamlets police are currently working with Scotland Yard to try and reunite the watches with their original owners. The team has already had one success when it delivered a Rolex Daytona watch to former Arsenal player Lauren today, six years after the player reported it stolen.
If the watches fail to be claimed by their original owners, they could either be put up for auction by the police or will be returned to the suspects if it cannot be proven that the items were stolen.