“Fed up”: Dr Rachid Mekhalfia handed over his silver Patek Philippe watch after being attacked with a machete ( NIGEL HOWARD © )
A wealthy financier was stabbed by machete-wielding moped thugs who snatched his £75,000 Swiss watch.
Dr Rachid Mekhalfia, 46, was set upon by three men as he stood beside his Range Rover while it was being inspected by a mechanic in Kilburn.
The father-of-four grappled with his attackers as one shouted “stab him, stab him” before he was knifed in the knee with a machete.
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Fearing for his life, he handed over the silver Patek Philippe timepiece and the robbers sped from the scene on a moped.
Today Dr Mekhalfia, who runs his own wealth management firm, offered a £5,000 reward for information about the attackers after becoming frustrated with the progress of the police investigation.
He told the Standard: “I am traumatised by all of this. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, thinking I could have been killed. I won’t open my car window now when I’m stopped, and I always panic whenever I see a moped.
“I knew I had to give the watch up. I’ve got a wife and four children, it was not worth losing my life over. Everything was happening so fast, I just knew I had to survive.”
The stolen silver Patek watch
Dr Mekhalfia, who lives in Knightsbridge, had taken his Range Rover for repairs a day before a family holiday when he was attacked in Palmerston Road at 7.15pm on August 22.
In the struggle the mechanic, who believed the gang were trying to steal the car, threw Dr Mekhalfia’s keys in the bushes, leaving him unable to escape.
Dr Mekhalfia claims that when police arrived, residents who had witnessed the incident refused to give evidence. His attackers are described as black and aged 18 to 25. The watch is silver with a blue dial and has a new strap link and a scratch on the glass.
In January moped thugs armed with hammers and a gun attacked his £200,000 Bentley in a bid to steal the same watch as he waited in traffic, but he managed to drive off.
Of the reward, he said: “I want to make a difference. We must bring these thugs to justice. These people do not care who they target, they will do it to anyone, and I am fed up with it. There are not enough police around and these people are getting away with it.”