A mugger handed back a ring he had stolen -- because he knew it was of religious significance to its Hindu owner.

The mugging took place on Friday outside the Masons Arms in Whitchurch Lane Edgware at about 7.20pm, when an Asian student was walking home.

Police say the 17-year-old was pushed against a fence by two robbers who forced him to hand over a £100 gold chain and some cash.

They had just taken the ring when one of the muggers looked at it and asked their victim in Gujurrati if it was associated with Om, the sacred symbol of the Hindu god, Lord Ganesha.

When he replied that it was, the muggers handed the ring back but kept the expensive chain.

Both muggers were Asian and spoke in fluent Gujurrati: one was about 17 and wore wire framed glasses, while the second robber wore a baseball cap and a long leather coat.

Anyone with information can contact Harrow CID on 0181 733 3434.

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