Dramatic CCTV footage of the moment a man lost consciousness as a ‘hugger mugger’ grabbed him around the neck to steal his Rolex.
The 24-year-old student had been for a night out and was walking along Regents Street towards Oxford Circus at around 3.45am on Saturday, May 10.
He was approached by a man who asked him for a cigarette and they got chatting.
They continued walking and stopped in a doorway opposite the Strawberry Moon bar in Heddon Street.
The suspect began talking about martial arts and acting out restraint moves.
As the victim turned around, the suspect then placed his arm across his throat and squeezed.
The CCTV footage shows the victim dropping to the ground, with his legs crumpling beneath him as he loses consciousness for a few moments.
The suspect then took the opportunity to rip the victim's watch, a £5,000 Rolex Submariner with a silver bracelet and black face, off his wrist and make off.
The victim came too and discovered what had happened.
Detective Constable Michael Heaney said: "The suspect targeted his victim carefully, choosing someone who was a bit the worse for wear after a night out, alone and smartly dressed.
"The method he uses is not something we have seen before in this area and is a concern. Had the suspect applied more pressure the victim could have been far more seriously injured.
“As it was, he was just badly shaken.”
The suspect is described as of Arab appearance ,he told the victim he was Algerian, and wearing a dark baseball-type jacket, dark blue jeans and a black baseball cap.
He was bald with stubble, 5ft 8ins and of muscular build.
Call 0207 321 7513 or 0800 555 111.