Riyad Mahrez has £500,000 worth of valuables stolen in raid on his home

Telegraph Sport
Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez in action during training at Manchester City Football Academy on May 27, 2020 - Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Image

Riyad Mahrez is the latest top footballer to have been targeted by criminals during lockdown after the Manchester City forward had £500,000 of valuables stolen from his apartment.

Mahrez had three luxury watches taken in the raid on his home, including a Richard Mille timepiece worth £230,000, two Rolexes and more than £50,000 in cash, it was reported on Saturday night.

The Algerian feared that he was being watched by the burglars and that the raid on his block of luxury flats was carried out to order, according to the Sun on Sunday.

A letter sent to residents of the building described how four apartments were “accessed without authority using a fob which had general access throughout the building”. A Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman said: “At around 5pm on Friday April 24, police were called to reports that four separate apartments had been burgled at a city centre block.” The news of the Mahrez incident comes just weeks after Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli was held at knifepoint during a burglary at his home

Alli suffered minor facial injuries in the scuffle that followed and also had a Richard Mille watch stolen, reportedly worth £150,000.

In March, the family of Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen was also held at knifepoint while he was playing for his club in the Champions League. Last year Arsenal duo Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Özil were victims of an attempted carjacking in north London, with further security incidents following at Ozil’s home. Security experts told Telegraph Sport this month that elite footballers are easy targets for criminals and it is “only a matter of time” before a player or a member of their family is seriously injured or killed.

Alex Bomberg, the chief executive of security firm Intelligent Protection International, said players must be particularly careful to control what they post online. “The intelligence is there on social media,” Bomberg said. “The criminals can look and say: ‘Oh look, there’s the £50,000 watch, there’s the jewellery collection, there’s the £1,000 pair of sunglasses.'

“They become a target because they become a challenge. People will look at a footballer posting all of this stuff and they then become a challenge to the criminal community.”