Annabel Croft ‘worried’ for children after London mugging leaves her ‘traumatised’

The star had her phone snatched as she waited for a taxi in London

Watch Annabel Croft ‘worried’ for children after London mugging leaves her ‘traumatised’

Annabel Croft has admitted she's "really worried" for her own children after being left "traumatised" when someone snatched her phone.

The tennis ace and former Strictly Come Dancing star was mugged as she was waiting for a taxi at around 11pm outside King's Cross station in London. The star said the person, who was wearing a balaclava, rode right up to her on a bike and whipped the phone out of her hands "in seconds".

Opening up on ITV's This Morning, the star said she was "totally shocked" by what happened and that she now fears for her daughters Amber and Lily and son Charlie, who are in their 20s.

"I'm really worried about my kids," said Croft, as she talked about the incident. "I'm worried about my friends, family, anybody who might be on street corner because it just feels like it's not very safe anymore."

"It didn't even occur to me that I was going to be a target," added the star, whose husband Mel Coleman died last year after battling cancer.

Annabel Croft was mugged in London. (ITV screengrab)
Annabel Croft was mugged in London. (ITV screengrab)

Telling host Ben Shephard and Cat Deeley about what happened, Croft said she had been checking her phone to see where her taxi was when the person approached on a bike. "And the next thing I knew, he was literally at me and, one hand, very skilfully just literally snatched the phone right out of my hand as I was looking at the app and I screamed," she said.

"I was totally shocked by it, and he rode off with my phone and... I couldn't even tell you what came out of my mouth. It was a bit of a blur."

Luckily the man dropped Croft's phone and a passerby ended up coming to her aid, waiting with her until her taxi arrived.

"I want to say to young people out there and everybody, actually, whatever age you are, it totally traumatised me," she added. "I did go into a little bit of shock afterwards, with the sort of shakes that came over me."

Strictly Come Dancing 2023,25-11-2023,TX10 - LIVE SHOW,Johannes Radebe & Annabel Croft,BBC,Guy Levy
Annabel Croft was on Strictly last year. (BBC)

Croft, 57, said she wants people to be conscious of what can happen. "I just want to warn people that if you're on a street corner and you have your phone out, just be aware," she said.

"Because it's clearly something that's happening quite a lot and it makes you feel very, very unsafe," added the TV star.

"I was quite surprised. I think I'm quite strong, but you know when you're holding your phone, it literally went out of my hands in seconds and I was so shocked. And it is very terrifying."

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Annabel Croft poses backstage ahead of a performance of
The star wants people to be aware of what can happen. (Hoda Davaine/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Thousands of phones are stolen in London every year, the Met Police said. Thieves use pickpocketing and table surfing tactics but more recently there has been a rise in snatches from criminals on mopeds, according to the Met Police website.

Commander Owain Richards told Yahoo of phone thefts: "We understand the impact that mobile phone theft can have on victims – it's an invasive and sometimes violent crime – and we’re committed to protecting Londoners and tackling this issue as we make the capital safer.

"Met officers are targeting resources to hotspot areas, such as Westminster, Lambeth and Newham, with increased patrols and plain clothes officers which deter criminals and make officers more visibly available to members of the community.

"We continue to use data and technology to build intelligence and track stolen phones to target offenders as we fight community crime. We are also working with phone firms to design out the ability for phones to be reused and sold on as we seek to dismantle the criminal market that fuels robbery.

"We encourage people to report as soon as they can whenever they have been a victim of mobile phone theft, so officers can attend the scene and investigate swiftly."