A woman robbed by masked men at knifepoint in one of the most affluent areas of London has slammed the police after watching her husband ‘nearly murdered’ by the robbers.
Wealthy financier Ratun Lahiri, 51, said she now lives in fear in her home in Hampstead, in a street she shares with ambassadors and football stars, saying she ‘might as well move abroad’.
On July 14 Ms Lahiri, managing partner at a venture fund, had returned from dinner with the Indian high commissioner and the Indian commerce minister when she saw two masked men in helmets dressed in black on a moped.
She and her husband, a fellow financier who was driving their Mercedes, pulled up to park at their home at around 9.20pm to find when the moped did a U-turn and drove to her passenger-side window.
On July 14 Ratun Lahiri, 51, a managing partner at a venture fund, was robbed at knifepoint near her Hampstead home
She opened the window to ask if she could help, at which point the pillion rider on the back of the moped sprinted to the driver’s side.
‘He yanked the door with almighty force,’ Ms Lahiri told The Times.
As he drove away, preventing the mugger opening the door, the criminal ‘tapped’ on the window, she explained, ‘and the whole glass shattered’.
The moped rider put his hands through the window and opened the door, deactivating the central locking system and brandishing a knife.
‘There was this terrifying moment of him trying to drag my husband out of the car,’ Ms Lahiri said,
‘That’s when he said, ‘I’m going to stab you. Give me your watch.’
As her husband tried to close the door and said he did not wear a watch, the robber told Ms Lahiri to ‘tell him to give me his watch or I’m going to stab him’.
She said: ‘By this time, my husband was half in the car, half outside. There was glass everywhere, including on me.’
Ms Lahiri said she and her husband never asked for anything in return for ‘such high taxes’ other than security
Her husband ‘gave him a very forceful kick . . . it was a very extreme act of survival.
‘This man ran towards my side of the car. I saw the knife coming towards me.’
Ms Lahiri had managed to prise off her wedding rings and a diamond watch, which she had put by her feet.
The robber demanded her watch then yanked her bracelet, a a family heirloom with nine gems set in gold, from her wrist.
He also forcefully stole a gold wedding band which she had not taken off for 26 years, leaving a deep scar. ‘He would have hacked my hand to get it off,’ she said.
He also saw her watch by her feet and stole it , before the two men sped off on their moped.
Ms Lahiri said that she feels let down by the police, who took 25 minutes to come.
She provided registration plate of the moped, which was stolen, but no one was sent to chase it, she said.
She told the paper: ‘This is supposed to be one of the most secure, affluent areas of London, and yet there is an extremely violent robbery.
‘I’ve seen my husband, the love of my life, nearly murdered.
‘I’m scared to go out even to put the trash out.
‘My neighbour has also said he wants to relocate.
‘I feel totally betrayed. We have never asked for anything from the state, other than security. We pay such high taxes.’
The Metropolitan Police are treating the incident as a robbery.
Scotland Yard said that it had conducted door-to-door inquiries and was gathering CCTV footage. No arrests have been made.
The force cancelled medical treatment after deciding that the couple had suffered only minor injuries.