A bungling ‘jewellery thief’ unwittingly left a massive clue at the scene of his own crime – a picture of himself.
Police arrived at a jewellery shop to discover the suspect left his phone at the scene, which displayed a selfie as its screen-saver.
Detectives have identified the man as Germain Ibrahim Fofana – and believe he could be linked to a string of thefts at jewellery stores all over London.
This latest incident happened on Sunday, May 18, when £18,000 of jewellery was stolen from Ernest Jones in Kingston-upon-Thames.
A thief posing as a customer walked into the shop at 1.45pm with a female accomplice and claimed to be looking for an engagement ring.
The pair, who also entered the shop with a child in a buggy, asked the shop assistant to show them two rings they were interested in.
They then left, claiming they were going to look at jewellery at another shop and would return later.
About 30 minutes later the man returned alone and asked the shop assistant who originally served him if he could look at both rings again, as well as a wedding band.
He told them he wanted to compare both rings with the wedding band to see which one it looked best with.
Taken in by his story, the shop assistant handed over the rings – and the man promptly ran out of the store.
Detective Sergeant Damion Cummings said: ‘In his hurry to run out of the shop, the suspect left his mobile phone on the table alongside his bag.
‘While police were on scene the phone lit up having received a text message and a picture of the suspect was saved as the background.
‘It was then the shop assistant, who served him, was able to identify the person in the picture.
‘Having conducted further enquiries the suspect has been identified as Germain Ibrahim Fofana, a 27-year-old French national.
‘We also know he is wanted for further offences including shop-lifting, robbery and burglary across some other London boroughs.’
Police describe Fofana as 5ft 7in, of slim build and with short, black hair, He has a French accent and was last seen wearing a light blue shirt, grey suit trousers and boating shoes.
His female accomplice is of large build and was wearing all black clothing. She had long black hair.
Anyone with information about Fofana or any other aspect of the investigation should contact DS Cummings at Kingston CID on 020 8721 5880.
Callers can also give information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
21 May 2014 | 5:30 pm – Source: metro.co.uk