A talented young opera singer has warned people to be on their guard after he was mugged in Aldersbrook.
Tom Elwin, 26, a former head chorister at St Paul’s cathedral who is studying at the Royal Academy of Music, was on his way back to his parents’ house in Aldersbrook Road at around 6.40pm last night when he was stopped by two men near the City of London crematorium.
He said: “I got off the train at Manor Park Station, but there were no buses so I decided to walk towards Aldersbrook.
“About 200 yards from the cemetery, two guys came up either side of me.
“One of them said ‘Give me your phone.’ I said ‘What phone?’ He said ‘Your iPhone. I know you have one, so just give it to me.’
“There was nobody about and they were very threatening. I just felt very strongly that if I didn’t do what they wanted I would be in danger.”
Mr Elwin handed over his phone and wallet, which only had £5 in it.
He said: “One of them then said ‘Keep on walking and don’t stop.’
“I am pretty sure that they followed me from near the station, I think I caught sight of them near some flats there and they probably saw me checking my phone.”
Redbridge Police arrived shortly after Mr Elwin alerted them and drove him around Aldersbrook and Manor Park, but there was no sign of the thieves.
Using an application which allows iPhone users to trace their devices, Mr Elwin was able to track the thieves’ progress to a phone shop in Romford Road, Manor Park, before it was switched off.
He said: “The police went to the shop, but there was no sign of the phone and the staff said they knew nothing about it.
“I don’t expect to see it again. There were some photos from Christmas on it which I’m sad to lose, but I’m just happy I wasn’t hurt.
“I have made that walk so often and never had any trouble before.
“But I think now I will either get a bus or make sure I only walk that way when a crowd of people are going back from the station.”
The men were in their twenties and wore hooded tops.
Redbridge Police have been asked to comment.