Jesse Lingard's prized watch stolen from dressing room while playing for West Ham
FOOTIE ace Jesse Lingard called in cops after his watch was stolen from West Ham’s dressing room during a game.
The thief struck as the midfielder, 28, played in the Premier League defeat to Everton on May 9.
Cops and loan club West Ham have no idea how a thief brazenly sneaked into the heavily-guarded dressing room during a game.
Players and staff searched the room to no avail on May 9 before the star contacted police.
Rooms at the London Stadium are only accessible to players and senior officials.
They are monitored by CCTV and patrolled by security.
Midfielder Lingard, on loan from Manchester United, has a collection of high-end watches, some thought to be worth six figures. One is specially designed by Swiss maker Richard Mille.
A source said: “Jesse was devastated, but nobody can believe it.
“It’s completely unheard of for something to be stolen from inside the players’ dressing rooms during a game.
“Security at the stadium is top class. There are staff guarding the tunnel and all those areas — as well as CCTV all over the place.
“Of course everyone has searched high and low but it appears it has definitely been taken, and there was no option but to call in the police.
“Everyone is gutted for him, he loved that watch and thought it would be safe.
“It goes without saying Premier League footballers are well paid, and many of them have expensive items including clothing and jewellery.
“But it would just never occur to anyone that it could be taken from there. It’s a real shock.”
The raid is the latest in a spate of crimes targeting footballers’ prized possessions, but the first to take place in such a bold and shameless way.
BALACLAVA-clad burglars broke into Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti’s home and stole a safe containing valuables in February.
The Italian, 61, was not at home and it was reported his daughter Katia may have scared off the intruders.
In March club goalkeeper Robin Olsen, 31, was targeted by a machete gang who took gems and a watch from his house near Altrincham.
Coleen Rooney has spoken of her sleepless nights after ex-serviceman Robert McNamara was jailed for breaking into her family’s Cheshire home. Her husband, England ace Wayne, had been playing in his testimonial.
Last week we told how pregnant Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock, engaged to Watford footballer Andre Gray, had her £40,000 ring stolen from their £4.5million Surrey mansion.
In 2016 then-West Ham striker Andy Carroll was targeted for his £22,000 watch.
The striker was driving home from the club’s training ground when he was confronted by a motorbike rider at traffic lights.
Robber Jack O’Brien was later jailed for six years, with Carroll saying he believed he may have had a gun.
It would just never occur to anyone that it could be taken from there. It’s a real shock.
The footballer told jurors he was scared when the motorcycle rider pulled up beside him, said “nice watch” then demanded he gave it to him.
Carroll did a U-turn, but was forced to drive on the wrong side of the road as he was pursued back to West Ham’s training ground.
In a 999 call played in court he was heard telling responders: “There’s two motorbikes, one’s behind me pulling out a gun.”
Two years ago moped thugs targeted former Arsenal players Mezut Ozil and Sead Kolašinac for their £200,000 watches in North London.
Bosnian defender Kolašinac chased the knife-wielding attackers who were part of a gang that were later jailed for ten years. Last May armed raiders made off with watches worth £350,000 from the home of Lingard’s England teammate Dele Alli.
Man City winger Riyad Mahrez had a £230,000 Richard Mille timepiece, a £40,000 Rolex Daytona and a £35,000 Rolex Day Date nicked from his Manchester penthouse.
Liverpool stars Sadio Mane, Roberto Firminho and club legend Steve Gerrard have all been targeted when thieves knew they would be involved in major matches so would not be at home.
Gerrard’s wife Alex was left terrified when thugs threatened to abduct their children if she did not co-operate.
He was away leading his side in the Champions League. The Lingard raid, in the supposed sanctuary of a dressing room, is sure to shock the footballing world.
A West Ham United spokesperson said: “The incident happened a month ago and the Club took all appropriate steps at the time.
"While we will continue to assist with the matter, we are unable to comment further as this is now part of an ongoing police investigation.”
The Met Police confirmed to The Sun: “Police are investigating a burglary at the London Stadium. It was reported that a watch was stolen from a changing room on the afternoon or evening of Sunday May 9.”
A spokesman for Jesse added: “We can’t comment on an ongoing investigation.”
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