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£20,000 watch given as gift by ex-US president stolen in London


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A pocket watch worth up to £20,000 that was given as a gift by former US president Woodrow Wilson has been stolen from a London antiques dealer.

The 14-carat gold timepiece was taken from a shop in Pierrepont Arcade, Islington, at around 12.30pm on Saturday by a man who pretended he wanted to buy a vase.

His payment was declined and, as the sales assistant returned the vase to its display, he opened a cabinet and snatched the watch.

Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of a pocket watch presented by former US president Woodrow Wilson which has been stolen from an antiques shop in north London. The 14 carat gold time piece, worth up to GBP 20,000, was taken from the store in Pierrepont Arcade, Islington, north London at around 12.30pm on Saturday by a man who pretended he wanted to buy a vase.
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The watch is more than 100 years old

Police are now trying to track the thief down and have released pictures of the watch, which features the seal of the US president on the front of its case.

On the back, an engraved message reads: “From the president of the United States for Charles J Lawrenson, master of the British steampship Nubian.”

Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of a pocket watch presented by former US president Woodrow Wilson which has been stolen from an antiques shop in north London. The 14 carat gold time piece, worth up to GBP 20,000, was taken from the store in Pierrepont Arcade, Islington, north London at around 12.30pm on Saturday by a man who pretended he wanted to buy a vase.
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The timepiece features an engraved message from US president Woodrow Wilson

It adds that the gift was presented to the captain “in recognition of his humane services in effecting the rescue at sea on March 7 1914 of the master and crew of the American schooner Julia A Trubuee”.

The owners of the watch are “very distressed” at its theft, said PC Joshua Brown, from Central North Basic Command Unit.

Handout CCTV screengrab dated 12/12/20 issued by the Metropolitan Police of a man wanted in connection with the theft of pocket watch from an antiques shop in north London on Saturday. The 14 carat gold time piece, presented by former US president Woodrow Wilson and worth up to GBP 20,000, was taken from the store in Pierrepont Arcade, Islington, north London at around 12.30pm on Saturday by a man who pretended he wanted to buy a vase.
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Police want to speak to this man, caught on CCTV

He added: “The item had been in their family for a long time and I would urge the person who stole it to return it as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information can call police on 101 quoting CAD 1857/15Dec. or to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online.


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