London Underground thief using jacket to hide snatch has his collar felt

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 November 2014 | UPDATED: 08:02 11 November 2014

Jailed... London Underground pick-pocket Andrew Jones

Jailed... London Underground pick-pocket Andrew Jones


A pickpocket working the London Underground using his jacket to cover his slight of hand while stealing from his victims had his own collar felt—by Transport police.

Middle-aged Andrew Jones first stole a passenger’s Oyster card at the crowded Leicester Square tube station.

Then he slipped out of the station where the ‘chancer’ spotted a woman sitting at a coffee-shop with a friend with her shoulder-bag left unzipped on the ground.

He used his jacket to hide the snatch as he took the woman’s mini-computer tablet from the bag.

But the officers were on his coat-tail.

“We spotted him checking out passengers at the station,” Pol Sgt James Ashby said. “He was looking for prey, then moved onto the café where we saw him take the tablet—and arrested him there and then.”

Jones, 51, from Tottenham in north London, admitted two theft charges when he appeared at Blackfriars crown court on November 3, one for the Oyster card and the other for the £250 tablet belonging to the 40-year-old woman from Stepney.

The luckless thief was slapped with two eight-month jail sentences, to run together.

British Transport Police are advising passengers to get the serial numbers of their mobile phones, tablets and laptops registered online.

They have now produced video clips to help spot the most common tricks used by thieves on the Underground, which can also be viewed online.

Tactics include:

The ‘easy dip’—taking advantage of busy stations and crowded trains to dip into their victim’s unzipped bag.

The ‘plucker’—taking advantage of a sleeping passenger to steal from them.

The ‘earlybird’—thief boarding a train at the start of the journey, picking out a bag and jumping off as the train pulls out.

The ‘blind-spot’—finding a ‘victim’ distracted trying to store luggage on a packed train who can’t keep an eye on their belongings.

Jones thought he was an ‘easy dip’ stealing the woman’s computer—but turned into an ‘easy collar’ for Transport cops.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser