A pickpocket has been described as ‘part Bruce Forsyth, part Artful Dodger’ after using dance moves to distract women as he stole their watches.
Abdelhadi Bahou Jabour was sentenced to two years and three months for the thefts, which occurred on the same day in Birmingham city centre in July.
CCTV footage shown by the prosecution revealed the full extent of the unorthodox methods used by Jabour as part of his scheme, with the 24-year old seen displaying ‘nimble-footed’ dance moves in close contact with the women in order to draw attention away as he removed their watches from their wrists.
West Midlands Police said that in the first incident, Jabour began talking to a couple before ‘grinding up against the woman’ and stealing her £9,000 Rolex. He reportedly also attempted to steal the man’s watch, but was unsuccessful.
Shortly after, Jabour encountered another woman in a nearby cathedral grounds, and proceeded to steal her £4,700 watch.
In a statement reported by the BBC, PC Mat Evans said of the unusual tactics:
Normally pickpockets try to steal using stealth so you won’t even feel it. But this technique uses the opposite approach, using excessive contact to misdirect your attention away from the sensation of having your pockets emptied or, in this case, your watch stolen.
Jabour was arrested in his hometown of Nottingham later in the month, and admitted two charges of robbery and one of attempted robbery in a hearing at Birmingham Crown Court.