Oliver White: Jewellers say employee who was found dead the day after shop robbery should 'never have been left alone'

29 May 2024, 18:50 | Updated: 29 May 2024, 22:31

A shop assistant found dead after being robbed at a west London jewellers "should never have been alone", the store owners have said.

Oliver White, 27, who worked at 247 Kettles in Kew Road, Richmond, was found dead at his home in Surrey on 26 May, the day after two unarmed men stole a number of high-value watches from the jewellers.

CCTV footage posted online appears to show a shop worker being put in a chokehold during the raid.

Mr White's family said in a statement shared by Surrey Police on Sunday that the watch dealer was left "traumatised and unable to speak" after the robbery.

They said they believe he "subsequently took his own life due to the anguish and distress of this terrible incident".

Independent jewellers, 247 Kettles, described Mr White as a "close friend" of more than 20 years who "left a long-lasting impact on the watch community as a whole".

In a statement, it added: "Both suppliers and customers alike were taken back by Oliver's vibrant spirit and kind heart and his loss is felt deeply by all that knew him."

The company said Mr White should "never have been alone in the office on Saturday and that amount of watches should've never been on display".

It said despite having strict security procedures, "such procedures were not followed through no fault of anyone's. Panic buttons, alarms, smoke screens and security doors are in place".

The business claimed the suspects had targeted the shop by posing as potential customers across a three-day period, and were "waiting for a vulnerability and the correct time to strike".

It claimed "false statements" circulating in the media and on social media about insurance, the value of stock and security in place were all simply untrue.

"Unfortunately on Saturday the attempt succeeded in a violent robbery which Oliver was the victim of," the company said.

"We would appreciate if false rumours could be stopped to allow both friends and family to grieve without additional stress and intrusion."

The jewellers said it will remain temporarily closed to "grieve the loss of our friend".

Read more from Sky News:
Angela Rayner cleared by HMRC
Urgent search after father and son go missing on hike

Over the weekend, the Metropolitan Police released images of two suspects.

One of the men in the CCTV video, who has multiple tattoos and is wearing a black and white T-shirt with sunglasses on his head, is seen grabbing the dealer and holding him around his neck for more than a minute.

His accomplice, wearing a grey hoodie and ripped blue jeans, grabs items from cabinets and stuffs them into a bag on the other man's back.

No arrests have yet been made.