Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Moped Hammer Horror; BRAZEN THIEVES BRING TERROR TO WEST END THUGS RIDE ONTO PAVEMENTS AND MUG PEDESTRIANS PICTURE EXCLUSIVE Wielding Hammer and Crowbar, Moped Thieves Terrorise Streets

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Moped Hammer Horror; BRAZEN THIEVES BRING TERROR TO WEST END THUGS RIDE ONTO PAVEMENTS AND MUG PEDESTRIANS PICTURE EXCLUSIVE Wielding Hammer and Crowbar, Moped Thieves Terrorise Streets

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Davenport and Daniel O'Mahony

A MASKED thug wields a hammer as he and a fellow moped raider target terrified pedestrians in the heart of London.

The men, joined by another pair of raiders armed with a crowbar, roared around the West End on two scooters and carried Continued on Page 5 Continued from Page 1 out at least one theft. Evening Standard photographer Alex Lentati was almost knocked down by one of the bikes when it mounted the pavement outside the BBC's HQ, Broadcasting House.

Other witnesses described how the pillion passengers waved their weapons to ward off any have-a-go heroes. The four "brazen" thieves were photographed at about 2pm yesterday as they targeted pedestrians in Langham Street, yards from the entrance to the BBC Radio 1 studio.

Scotland Yard said officers were investigating one report of a theft of an iPhone from a woman in her forties on Great Portland Street just before 2pm.

Police said the pedestrian was about to cross the road when a moped drove towards her. The pillion passenger pushed her and snatched her phone from her hand. She was uninjured.

The incident is the latest in a crimewave involving criminals on mopeds carrying out robberies and snatches. Met figures show moped-enabled crime has risen seven-fold in two years, from 1,053 in 2014 to 7,668 last year.

Mr Lentati was walking on Langham Street when he "saw this motorbike come round the corner fast".

He said: "At first I thought it was just bad driving, but then he mounted the pavement and started coming at me at fairly high speed. I'd just come off the phone and was putting it in my pocket. As the bike got closer it rode at me on the pavement, then whizzed past me on the inside next to the wall.

"The audacity of it was that another one turned up and then they went round the block and came back again tearing down Great Portland Street. …

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