Tennis and Strictly Come Dancing star Annabel Croft ‘traumatised’ and fears for her kids after mugging by phone thief

Annabel Croft, who starred in Strictly Come Dancing, was mugged in the street,Annabel Croft, who starred in Strictly Come Dancing, was mugged in the street,
Annabel Croft, who starred in Strictly Come Dancing, was mugged in the street,
Tennis player turned TV dancing star Annabel Croft has said she was “traumatised” after a mugger snatched her phone out of her hand on a London street.

The ex-tennis player, who came fourth in the last series of Strictly Come Dancing, said she was waiting for a taxi on a quiet street in London and was checking her phone to see where her driver was when the incident happened.

She told ITV’s This Morning: “I was aware of this bike coming towards me from a distance. And I just thought it was a young lad on a bike … I realised it was a balaclava (he was wearing) and I thought, oh, he’s taking the corner a bit tight.

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“The next thing I knew, he was literally at me and one-handedly, very skilfully, snatched the phone right out of my hand as I was looking at the app.

“I screamed, I was totally shocked by it and he rode off with my phone. I was screaming all sorts of expletives, I couldn’t even tell you what came out of my mouth. It’s all a bit of a blur.

“And then incredibly, he dropped the phone and I went running after him.”

She added: “My instinct, quite wrongly, was to chase after him, because I was thinking, what on earth am I going to do without my phone, when all of our lives seem to be on our phone. He looked back, and I think he was deciding whether to come back and try and get it and then I was so lucky that there was a very nice gentleman across the street that could see how distressed I was and he helped me.”

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Croft said she now wants to offer a warning to others about the risks of having a phone snatched. She said: “It totally traumatised me. I did go into a little bit of shock afterwards, with the shakes that came over me.

“It happened all so quickly, it’s a bit of a blur but I just don’t want anybody who’s standing on their own looking at their phones having that kind of experience, because I realise it is quite common.

“I just want to warn people that if you’re on a street corner, and you have your phone out, just be aware. I can honestly say I don’t think I will ever try to put myself in that position again.

“And I’m really worried about my kids. I’m worried about my friends, family, anybody who might be on a street corner, because it just feels like it’s not very safe any more.

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She added: “It didn’t even occur to me that I was going to be a target. But I realised in hindsight that he was out there looking for targets.

“I think I’m quite strong but when you’re holding your phone, it literally went out of my hands in seconds.

“I was so shocked and it is very terrifying. So, you know, please just be aware of if you’re on a street corner … I would hate anybody to have that same experience because it is quite terrifying.”

Croft is a former British number one tennis player and at 15 was the youngest Briton to compete in the Wimbledon Championships for almost a century.

She was also junior champion at the tournament in 1984 at the age of 18.