We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Dautzenberg posing in a mobile phone photo with criminal money - taken on 26 March

Man who attacked women for gold had pics on his phone linking him to the crimes

He would sit on public transport assessing his target and what jewellery they were wearing and attack them a short time after.

A MAN WHO attacked lone women for their jewellery in west London is due to be sentenced tomorrow.

Ralf Dautzenberg would rely on public transport to select a victim before ripping their jewellery from them.

The 22-year-old of Lawrence Street, Canning Town, previously pleaded guilty to eleven counts of robbery and one count of theft.

Police say he was becoming more violent in his attacks:

“Each time, victims were approached from behind, their necks were then grabbed, and their jewellery was ripped from them.

Dautzenberg resorted to violence on several occasions, punching his victim on the head and knocking them to the pavement.

One victim said: “I wake at night having nightmares and images with flashbacks of what he did, I feel scared to walk on my own anywhere as he robbed me on the main road at 11am.

“I came back to my sister’s after the incident hysterically shaking and crying, in front of my two young children, my eldest is six and has never seen me like that. She still remembers and asks questions about the incident, and why he wanted to hurt me.

My necklace was given to me by my grandmother to bring me luck she lives in India and I may not see her again.

“I’m happy that he’s caught as I would not like anyone to have to go through this or feel so vulnerable and scared.”

Dautzenberg was arrested during the summer after an investigation was launched when it became apparent that a number of linked ‘snatch’ robberies were being committed by a man of the same description – on all occasions he concealed his face using a scarf and wore a hooded top. Police said:

“He would sit on a bus or train assessing his target and what jewellery they were wearing, to then follow them on foot, and attack them a short time after.”

Officers seized his mobile phone – which held a number of images directly linking him to the crimes.

Photos were found of Dautzenberg gloating and showing off the cash proceeds of his crimes after selling the stolen jewellery. These photographs were later used as evidence at court.

X159-14GoldChain A necklace and pair of earrings stolen on 8 May

Despite a thorough search of his home, only one necklace was recovered and returned to its rightful owner. Dautzenberg told police that he sold every other piece of jewellery to cash buyers just hours after the crime.

He was charged with three counts of robbery, and then an additional eight offences in light of further evidence.

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Barry Wilcock, said: “Dautzenberg went to great lengths to identify and target vulnerable and innocent members of the public and avoid police detection by removing or changing his clothing immediately after offending as he fled the scene.

It became clear that the violence he was using was escalating, with defenceless elderly victims being punched in the face for their jewellery.

The offences occurred between January and June 2014, on women aged between 27 and 72 years.

He targeted Asian women for their gold necklaces, believed to be worth an estimated £20,000.

Read: VIDEO: Gardaí want to find two women who mugged 94-year-old grandmother>

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.