Thief admits stealing £15,000 worth of phones in Shoreditch
- Credit: Archant
A man who stole more than £15,000 worth of mobile phones in one night from revellers in bars across Shoreditch has been convicted.
Peter Abel Ogunsakin, 45, appeared at Inner London Crown Court on Monday, February 10 and pleaded guilty to 17 counts of theft and one of handling stolen goods.
He will be sentenced at the same court on a date yet to be arranged.
On Saturday, April 6 police indicated for a Blue Ford Focus to pull over in Kennington Park Road, SE1, as a routine traffic stop. The driver, Ogunsakin, was searched because he had failed to stop and he was found to be in possession of four phones. One had a brightly coloured cover with a woman's name on it.
Ogunsakin, of Stockwell Gardens Estate, Lambeth, told officers that two of the phones were bought for cash on the street from an unknown man and he did not obtain a receipt.
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He was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods and, following a search of his car, a further 18 phones were found concealed in the front passenger footwell, underneath a loose fitting car mat, with another phone on the rear passenger seat.
Subsequent enquiries established that one of the phones had been stolen from a woman in a nightclub in Shoreditch, between the hours of midnight and 3am on Saturday, April 6.
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During his police interview, Ogunsakin told officers that he returned home from work at about 5pm April 5 and he stayed at home until about 1.30am.
He said he left his home and attended a club in Aldgate, arriving at approximately 2am. He said he could not get into this club as it was too busy, so remained outside talking to acquaintances for about half an hour.
Ogunsakin told officers he then drove to London Bridge and went into a kebab shop to meet a friend of a friend, whose name who did not know, because he buys and sells things.
He said he was shown a number of phones and agreed to buy two phones (one of which was stolen from the victim in the Shoreditch nightclub) and they agreed a price of £40.
Ogunsakin said the unknown friend then sat in his car eating with him and he was carrying a bag. The friend then left and Ogunsakin drove away - he was then subsequently stopped by police.
Ogunsakin told officers he did not know the phones in the passenger footwell were there, and said they must have been left there by the unknown friend. He denied touching the phones.
Officers asked Ogunsakin if he went to any other locations that evening, other than the nightclub in Aldgate and the kebab shop near London Bridge, to which he stated no. He also told officers he did not go into the Shoreditch area.
However, enquiries carried out by officers proved otherwise. Police traced 17 victims who all had their phones stolen overnight on Friday, April 5 from five nightclubs and bars in the Shoreditch area. All 17 identified victims had their mobile phones returned to them.
All the victims said their mobile phones had been stolen from their pocket or handbag, and they had not spoken to the suspect, or see him approach them.
Officers visited the five venues and downloaded and extensively viewed the CCTV. Ogunsakin was caught on CCTV at four of the five venues. In one of the venues, the CCTV caught Ogunsakin with his hand inside a woman's bag.
One venue operates a scanning system where customers must have photographic ID documents scanned to gain entry. Ogunsakin's driving licence was scanned at 1.53am on Saturday, April 6.
When Ogunsakin was stopped by officers he was wearing the same clothing he was wearing on the CCTV footage.