A serial thief has been found guilty of trying to steal footballer Andy Carroll’s £22,000 watch in a drive-by heist.
Motorbike-riding Jack O’Brien, 22, swooped on the England player’s Jeep Wrangler as he was driving home from West Ham’s training ground last year.
Carroll told the court he believed O’Brien had a gun when he pulled alongside him at a set of traffic lights and demanded the expensive timepiece on November 2 last year.
The 6ft 4in striker said he was “scared” when the motorcycle driver approached his camouflage green vehicle and said: “Nice watch.”
He had initially thought the rider, who was wearing a crash helmet with a visor up, was boxer Kevin Mitchell pulling up for a chat.
But as he went to drive off, the man said: “Give me your watch.”
Carroll told the court he then did a U-turn, but was pursued by two motorbike drivers.
In a panicked 999 call played to the jury, Carroll told emergency responders: “There’s two motorbikes, one’s behind me pulling out a gun, I don’t know what to do.”
He added that he had “probably just hit about 10 cars” during his getaway.
Carroll eventually made it back to the West Ham training ground where he was helped by security staff.
O’Brien, of Navarre Gardens, Romford, east London, was arrested 10 days later when police found him hiding below a mattress at a house in Dagenham.
The 22-year-old convicted burglar denied a charge of attempted robbery at Basildon Crown Court but was found guilty by a jury.
Judge John Lodge is expected to sentence O’Brien on Friday morning for both his attempt on Carroll and a string of other offences.