Man who robbed former Crystal Palace owner is facing jail

A motorbike thug threatened former Crystal Palace Football Club owner Simon Jordan with an imitation James Bond-style pistol before snatched his £135,000 watch.

Career criminal Adam Yaroo, 32, was armed with the fake Walther P99 when he snatched the ultra-rare Franck Muller (DOUBLE CORRECT) from Mr Jordan while the business mogul was at the wheel of his Maserati sports car.

Yaroo was told he faces a “very significant sentence” for the robbery plus six burglaries in which he took jewellery worth tens of thousands of pounds.

Dramatic footage of the “professional” watch snatch showed Yaroo pull up alongside Mr Jordan on a busy main road in Croydon, south London, at lunchtime on March 21 this year.

Mr Jordan, who was giving his 80-year-old father a lift, initially ignored Yaroo but handed over the watch when the thug shouted: “I will shoot your f***ing face off.”

Footage captured by a bus dash cam showed Yaroo speed off, but he was arrested at his home in Catford, south east London, on May 2.

He was due to be sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court, but Judge Nathan Miller said a risk assessment was needed.

The Judge described Yaroo’s crimes as “some of the most serious offences I can remember in a long time.”

Louise Oakley, prosecuting, said Yaroo followed Mr Jordan, who had just taken his elderly father to a medical appointment, for “half-a-mile to a mile” before the robbery.

She said: “His attention was drawn to a motorcycle that had pulled up on his right hand side and he could hear shouting at his driver’s window, which was partially down.”

Yaroo shouted “give me your f***ing watch!” then pointed the gun – a gas-powered CO2 pistol “designed to resemble a Walter P99” – into the car.

Miss Oakley said: “Mr Jordan didn’t immediately respond and as a result described the defendant becoming more frantic.

“The defendant shouted, ‘give me the watch you f***ing c*** or I will f***ing shoot you’.

“Mr Jordan took off his watch and handed it to the defendant, who then drove off at speed.”

The court heard mobile phone analysis revealed Yaroo then phoned a jeweller in Hatton Garden, where he immediately headed to sell it.

Miss Oakley said: “He remained in Hatton Garden for approximately 40 minutes before travelling south, back towards this defendant’s home address.”

She added: “As a result this incident attracted national press and within 24 hours, the following day, the Sun newspaper carried a story with the headline, armed biker grabs footie chief’s watch.”

Yaroo bought a copy of the newspaper and took a photo of it covered with cash he received for the watch, Miss Oakley said.

The photo showed 11 bundles of £20 and £50 notes totalling roughly £12,000.

Miss Oakley said “the buyer had to be someone in the jewellery trade.”

A victim impact statement from Mr Jordan said he purchased the “rare piece” from a shop in Sloane Street, central London.

He said: “I did not receive any physical injuries, however it has impacted on me in other ways. On a psychological level, the incident has caused me to feel uneasy.”

Mr Jordan described feeling anxious “every time a motorcycle pulls up next to me.”

He added: “I never felt like this before this incident. I feel I’m a robust and confident character and have not historically been affected by the actions of others.

“I notice now a greater sense of concern when I’m walking alone and driving in my car.

“My father Peter was with me when the gun was held to me.

“He was in ill health and on that day had been having a medical treatment.

“He feels a sense of guilt as I was to drop him off in Croydon that day.

“My 10-year-old daughter was also very shocked and affected when she heard of the incident involving her father and grandfather.”

Yaroo earlier pleaded guilty to the robbery, six counts of burglary, theft, driving while disqualified and weapons offences.

The court heard in one of the burglaries, Yaroo used a moped to smash through the front door of a house in south Croydon which belonged to a Rolex employee.

In the raid, which lasted just 30 seconds, he took a £15,000 Rolex Daytona, a yellow gold Rolex Day-Date worth £26,000 and several other items of jewellery.

Asked by the judge whether Yaroo knew the watches were inside, Miss Oakley said: “He had a propensity to steal Rolex watches.

“The fact that address was targeted with a real determined effort to get in and that he’s inside the property for such a short period of time and has taken the items he has, the crown would submit is no coincidence.”

In a daytime raid on another house, Yaroo made off with jewellery worth £40,000 after he broke in when the owner left.

He took “sentimental” items including wedding and engagement rings and cash.

Cops investigating that burglary found a knife which he dropped at the house and contained DNA which linked him to the crime.

The victim later gave a statement which said it “changed my life.”

An armed raid on Yaroo’s home on May 2 this year uncovered the imitation gun used in the raid along with a stun gun disguised as a torch.

The court heard he has convictions for 62 offences and has previously asked for a total of 97 burglaries to be taken into consideration.

He was most recently jailed for five years in October 2014 for burglary, attempted burglary and escape from lawful custody.

Referring to the robbery, Judge Miller said: “This has the hallmarks of a professional, planned and targeted offence.”

He added: “A watch which we know is worth £135,000 which is then sold, we think, or I am sure it’s been sold within half an hour or so in Hatton Garden.”

Adjourning the hearing for an assessment of the danger he posed, the Judge added: “The defendant is a career criminal, he’s shown certainly since 2003 and utter determination to commit crime after crime for personal gain.”

Yaroo is now due to be sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court next month.


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