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Who is The Night Watcher?

A home invader with nearly 20 years of unanswered offences is still on the loose in Southern England, and has, to date, yet to be caught - with over a million pounds in stolen swag. 

Who is The Night Watcher of England? 

The Night Watcher has been terrorizing Southern England for a while now, but his actions recently have gone cold and so has the trail. 

But make no mistake, this is a dangerous individual that needs to be found - immediately. 

The Night Watcher is an armed burglar that has stolen more than £1,000,000 worth of items in violent and threatening raids.

The police have worked hard on Operation Prometheus - the lead operation in finding The Night Watcher - and the police had 224 persons of interest that they looked at. 

The Night Watcher has been the subject of several appeals, there was a Crimewatch episode with reconstructions, which sought information on the burglar and there is a plethora online looking at the manhunt and the failed chase to capture this sick criminal. Sky News, The Daily Mail, the BBC and ITV have all reported on this dangerous threatening criminal.

The Night Watcher is efficient at what he does. His raids have an exacting and military precision to them. He is violent, always masked and wields a sawn-off shotgun. Towering over six feet, he has used many intimidating tactics during the robberies and doesn't care about hitting women. He's punched and kicked pregnant women, broken the jaw of a woman in her sixties and does not care about the lives he has ruined.

He has been described as having a London accent, is white and tall - and speculatively, he appears to be ex-military. He is dangerous, extremely dangerous and for nearly ten years now, he has never been caught. 

Who is he? Why is he at large? 

A home is a sacred place, and this piece of work is regularly invading and causing chaos within the sanctity of the family home and he's targeting hard-working people with a lot of valuables. 

Can the internet come together and help find him? 

The Night Watcher's Crimes

It was the Stiff family that first brought the Night Watcher to national attention. 

The Stiffs were a wealthy family from Epsom in Surrey. And they were held up at gunpoint by the thief. One of the victims of this robbery was pregnant at the time, this was Katie Stiff.

Katie was kicked in the stomach by the invader, as he threatened to kill the three women at home and demanded to know the location of the expensive goods (stored within the safe). The father, Robert Stiff (pictured below), a successful businessman, was not home at the time of the robbery. 

The robbery occurred close to the Kingswood Gold and Country Club at 5.40pm on 12th November 2014. 

The Night Watcher forced the women to hand over their jewellery before violently attacking them and fleeing with the expensive goods. The intruder wore a balaclava, entered the house through the back of the six-bedroom house and carried a sawed-off shotgun, which he handled with frightening confidence.

The masked man had a fluent, articulate English accent (which sounded Southern and possibly London).

A man (possibly the Night Watcher) was seen wearing blue on CCTV footage (later scrutinised by the police) at Kingswood train station, scoping the area out for three hours. This fits the timeline of the attacks on the Stiffs. Further footage showed somebody walking around Kingswood Gold Course adjacent to the Stiffs. 

This is where the name the Night Watcher emerged, as it was believed that the attacker had a MO of scoping out his prey and his knowledge of the victim's houses alluded to the fact that he was always doing his homework on the schedule, routine, layout and all the possible facets to his victims. He seemed to know the houses very well.

After the attack, the Stiffs understandably upped their security game tenfold, and the Night Watcher never returned to the Stiff family again.

To this day, however, they live in fear.

The first burglary linked to the same tactics as The Night Watcher (and in the same area of England) goes back to 2006, almost ten years before he attacked the Stiffs. That's how long this coward has been terrorising the South of England. The police identified the 2006 case to a link to the more recent robberies, but they have not released information on this.

After the Stiff robbery and the Crimewatch appeal, the shotgun-wielding madman started to get some attention. Some, even dubbed the unknown criminal as a modern-day "Robin Hood" because he was taking solely from the rich. But I can't imagine a Robin Hood-type figure with noble intentions kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach, nor did this coward ever bother to give the stolen money to the poor.

The Night Watcher then hit a house on Fishery Road in Maidenhead, Berkshire. This was just a couple of months after the Stiff family were attacked and matched the MO of the previous attacks. The Night Watcher wielded a shotgun, stole valuable items after entering the home and was in full black gear including a balaclava, dark trousers, a rain jacket and ski gloves. 

The Maidenhead robbery gave the police further footage of the intruder. Again, the Night Watcher demonstrated how highly skilled he was at what he did. He seemed to know the layout of the house, left the backdoor open as a safety precaution and showed evidence of adept tactical decision-making. This extraordinary level of competence pointed to history in the armed service or possibly the police. 

The Night Watcher then hit his most high-profile target. In January 2016, The Night Watcher robbed the home of Lord and Lady March at Goodwood House in West Sussex. Using a ladder to get into the house through an upstairs window before breaking in, he pushed and assaulted Lord March and stole over £700,000 worth of priceless and rare antiques, including a diamond tiara and ring given by King Charles II. 

Some of the items were too unique and priceless to sell, so presumably would have been melted down and used in other items. The jewellery stolen from Goodwood House also included a diamond necklace worth £200,000.00 and an antique Rolex and Girard Perregaux watches. 

It became obvious that the Night Watcher had no limits to the extent of his egregious crimes and that he targeted the wealthy for extremely valuable items.

Lord March had connections to royalty and was the founder of the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

He was a big name in the UK. He lost items of indescribable value.

The Night Watcher hit big targets.

After Lord and Lady March, the Night Watcher struck in Surrey back to the area of Kingswood. He targeted the Morris family on October 26th, 2017, in an evening raid.  
It was the usual routine and sheer hell for Susan Morris. Susan was bound with cable ties and The Night Watcher made her to feel his shotgun (to demonstrate that it was a real one). He beat her until she gave up the location of the family jewels. 

The Night Watcher told Susan Morris that he would shoot her husband should he come home during the theft and stole family heirlooms from Mrs Morris' mother-in-law who died just a year prior and a brooch from her own mother. 

Susan Morris suffered a broken jaw, a missing tooth and many bruises in this attack. She told police that she was positive she would be raped and thankfully, she wasn't. 

The information that the police hold is scant, and he seems to have quietened down in recent years. The police have collected DNA at one of the scenes, but they are unable to make a match with anyone. They have detained and interviewed many suspects and people of interest but have not brought any action against anyone as of yet. The police have petitioned the armed forces for information, but due to the confidential nature of this sector - they are unable to obtain any DNA matches. 

The evidence strongly indicates that the Nigh Watcher had military precision in the way he executed the raids, the way he carried the gun and how he scooped out and monitored his targets. There was a deep level of sophistication to the raids. The Night Watcher could be using a fence to move the goods he's stolen, and many items have not just a priceless or sentimental value but could be identifiable amongst the antique industry.  

These goods have probably been moulded down and moved along as parts, thus losing an immense amount of their original value. 

Police say they are looking for a man who:

  • Is white
  • Has a stocky/muscular build
  • Is about 6ft (1.8m) tall
  • Speaks with a South of England accent
  • Is a lone man
  • May have specialist knowledge and skills
  • Uses a sawn-off shotgun and violence to threaten victims
  • Appears aware of the layout of houses, who is at home and location of safes/valuables

Where did the Night Watcher prowl? 

  • 12 November 2014 - Kingswood, Surrey
  • 21 January 2015 - Maidenhead area, Berkshire
  • 13 January 2016 - Chichester area, Sussex
  • 22 November 2016 - Sevenoaks area, Kent
  • January 2017 - Maidstone area, Kent
  • 24 April 2017 - Virginia Water area, Surrey
  • 26 October 2017 - Kingswood, Surrey

The five new offences all took place in Surrey between 2006 and 2015, but no further details have been released.

Further Reading: 

Violent 'Night Watcher' burglar suspected of a fresh attack on Surrey home | UK News | Sky News

Has the Night Watcher fled Britain? Police fear shotgun-wielding burglar is now abroad | Daily Mail Online

BBC News - “Women attacked in Kingswood jewellery robbery”

BBC News - “Thousands see Kingswood raid Twitter reconstruction”

BBC News - “Kingswood robbery ‘booted’ pregnant daughter in the stomach”

BBC News - “Kingswood robbery detectives follow up leads after appeal”

The Daily Mail - “Multi-millionaire’s wife and daughters attacked by masked gunman who broke into £5million home and stole gems”

The Telegraph - “Intruder punched health-care tycoon’s wife in face during robbery at £5m home”

Maidenhead Advertiser - “Victims threatened with ‘shotgun’ by burglar in ‘frightening ordeal’ in Fishery Road”

The Royal Borough Observer - “Woman and man threatened in their own home in Maidenhead by burglar ‘armed with a shotgun’”

The Telegraph - “Earl and Countess of March attacked and tied up by robber who cleaned out their safe at Goodwood”

BBC News - “Lord and Lady March tied up in Goodwood House burglary”

Business Insider - “A highly-skilled thief armed with a sawn-off shotgun has looted £1 million in a string of 7 violent burglaries in England”

The Daily Mail - “Terror of the 'Night Watcher' burglar: Man-hunt for armed 'former soldier' who is raiding millionaires' homes across the stockbroker belt, stealing £1m and leaving victims fearing for their lives”

Sky News - “‘Night Watcher’ victim: He put a shotgun to my chest”

Sky News - “‘Night Watcher’ manhunt: Violent burglar behind £1m raids could be soldier”

The Telegraph - “Police hunt 'Night Watcher' burglar who nets £7m haul using special forces skills”

BBC News - “‘Ex-soldier’ raiding Home Counties houses at gunpoint”

Surrey Live - “Operation Prometheus: Man with 'specialist skills' committing violent burglaries where victims are threatened with shotgun”

Surrey Live - “'This is the work of someone who knows exactly what they are doing': See top Surrey detective's Operation Prometheus plea to catch 'violent and dangerous' shotgun burglar”

The Telegraph - “Police hunt 'Night Watcher' burglar who nets £7m haul using special forces skills”

The Telegraph - “Night Watcher’s first victims describe terrifying ordeal as the hunt to catch him continues”

Evening Standard - “Police hunt ‘highly professional soldier’ after multi-million pound string of raids on homes in southern England”

The Guardian - “Home counties burglar who stole items worth £1m could be former soldier”

Evening Standard - “Police warn ‘The Night Watcher’ burglar may strike again - and next victim could get ‘really badly hurt’”

The Daily Mail - “Is the Night Watcher ALSO the Wimbledon Prowler? Police spot disturbing similarities between ‘highly professional ex-soldier’ and burglar responsible for 200 raids in south London”

Evening Standard - “Police probe links between ‘Night Watcher’ and ‘Wimbledon Prowler’ as detectives fear soldier burglar is same man who carried out crime spree over 12 years in south London”

BBC News - “‘Night Watcher’ home burglary appeal response ‘brilliant’”

Sky News - “‘Night Watcher’ manhunt: Police see surge in calls amid appeal for violent burglar”

The Sun - “Cops spot terrifying similarities between the ‘ex-soldier’ Night Watcher wanted over £7m raids and the Wimbledon Prowler”

The Sunday Times - “Wimbledon Prowler linked to new spate of violent raids”

Eagle Radio - “Surrey woman tied up and threatened with knife in her own home”

BBC News - “‘Night Watcher’: Violent armed burglar still at large”

Express - “Violent burglar Night Watcher may have fled abroad with £10m booty”

The Daily Mail - “Has the Night Watcher fled Britain? Police fear violent shotgun-wielding burglar who sparked major manhunt after raiding 12 wealthy homes is now abroad with £10m haul”

Sky News - “Violent ‘Night Watcher’ burglar suspected of fresh attack on Surrey home”

Mirror - “Hunt for the 'Night Watcher': Violent burglar who has stolen £7million from wealthy homes could be ex-soldier with 'specialist' skills”

Express Digest - “Is the Night Watcher ALSO the Wimbledon Prowler?”

The Guardian - “'Wimbledon prowler' jailed for 14 years over £500,000 crime spree”

BBC News - “‘Wimbledon Prowler’ jailed after ‘decade long burglary spree’”

The Telegraph - “‘Prowler’ behind dozens of Wimbledon burglaries should have been deported years ago”

Eastbourne Herald - “‘Ex-military’ serial burglar who operated in Sussex ‘may have died’ as appeal continues”

Kent Live - “Sawn-off shotgun wielding ‘Night Watcher’ still on the run after horrific Sevenoaks and Maidstone robberies”

5 News - “Police hunt violent ‘night watcher’ burglar” (Video)


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