Moped bandits caught on CCTV in Tower Hamlets jailed for mobile phone snatch 'spree'
PUBLISHED: 13:00 15 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:00 15 October 2018
Two thieves who triggered a high-speed police chase through London after snatching mobile phones and speeding away on a stolen moped have each been sentenced to more than two years behind bars.
Jack Green, 22, and Tarik Oliveira, 19, led officers on a 90-minute pursuit through the city streets the afternoon of August 17.
A stolen moped had been used in three mobile phone thefts in half an hour in Greenwich earlier that day, the court heard.
Shortly after, at about 12.50pm, CCTV operators from Tower Hamlets spotted the duo acting suspiciously and believed they were “looking for people to rob”.
Supported by a helicopter, police and traffic officers tracked down the suspects, who made off on the stolen vehicle.
Green drove “dangerously fast” through south London with Oliveira the pillion passenger as they attempted to evade pursuing officers, according to the Met.
An hour and a half later, the moped crashed into a bus in Coldharbour Lane, Brixton. The suspects ran off but were detained after a brief foot chase.
Oliveira was found to be in possession of five mobile phones – including the three stolen in Greenwich.
Both men confessed to their actions on Friday at Inner London Crown Court.
Green, of Elsted Street, Southwark, pleaded guilty to: Conspiracy to steal; aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving; failing to stop after the scene of a collision; failing to stop when required to do so by a police officer; driving not in accordance with a licence and driving without insurance.
Oliveira of Curtis House, Southwark, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and allowing to be carried on a stolen vehicle.
After receiving credit for their guilty pleas, Green was sentenced to 28 months and Oliveira 26 months for his role.
Describing the pair’s “spree of snatches” as “reckless” and a risk to public safety, Det Sgt Mark Kelleher, from Scotland Yard’s Venice Investigation Team, said: “Criminals on mopeds think they have the upper hand because of their ability to make off from the scenes of their crimes and from police at speed, by weaving through traffic.
“In this case, a combination of good quality CCTV coverage, specialist officers, and the police helicopter meant that they had few avenues of escape.”