Jail for Whitechapel burglar who made off with office laptops

PUBLISHED: 19:05 01 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:43 04 December 2017

Balraj Virdi. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Balraj Virdi. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Metropolitan Police

An “opportunistic” laptop thief who committed a string of burglaries in Whitechapel has been jailed.

Balraj Virdi, 31, of no fixed address, would enter offices in Hanbury Street and pretend to use an unattended laptop before simply walking away with it.

He was successful on six occasions in that premises alone, as well as committing a series of other offences.

Virdi stole suitcases from students moving out of their Mile End campus on March 31 and, 10 days later, another laptop from a licensed premises in Brick Lane.

He was involved in a robbery the following month, where a man had his phone stolen in an unprovoked attack in Vallace Road.

Virdi was arrested at the scene following the robbery and charged with the offence and the robberies. CCTV footage had identified him as the Whitechapel laptop swiper.

He was sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday at Snaresbrook Crown Court, having fessed up to 10 non-residential burglaries, one attempted burglary and one robbery.

He was also handed a Criminal Behaviour Order to run for eight years, banning him from entering Tower Hamlets.

“Virdi is an opportunistic burglar who has targeted a number of hardworking victims at their place of work,” said Det Con Tony Dowds of the Met’s Forensic Identification Team.

It was “very satisfying”, he added, “to be able to take this man off the streets”.

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 15:37

The Jubilee line is now running but with serious delays to all stations.

Yesterday, 15:03

A Poplar man who slashed his victim with a carpet knife, narrowly missing his jugular vein, has been jailed for eight years.

Yesterday, 14:28

From 4.30pm Canary Wharf station will be entry only and Heron Quays station will be exit only due to the suspension of the Jubilee line.

Yesterday, 13:34

The long-running dispute between the senior coroner for inner north London, Mary Hassell and the area’s Jewish and Muslim communities might be coming to an end, as the decision will be given tomorrow on her refusal to prioritise burials.

Yesterday, 10:09

The Jubilee line has been suspended along the entire route due to a power failure.

Yesterday, 09:46

Candidates for Mayor of Tower Hamlets are this-evening joining the East London Advertiser on Facebook for a live questions-and-answers grilling from voters.

Wed, 22:57

Neighbourhood activists are campaigning to protect the last bits of green space left in Spitalfields to stop encroaching developers getting their hands on them.

Wed, 17:40

Hundreds of pupils got a live performance from one of Britain’s pioneering orchestras when 75 musicians turned up at their school in Bromley-by-Bow.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now