independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Jail terms for mobile phone thieves

CCTV image of a gang of youths stealing phones from Carphone Warehouse in Barking in December last year (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Dramatic CCTV footage has been released which shows a gang of youths "steaming" high street mobile phone stores in broad daylight.

Law-abiding shoppers and members of staff are seen caught up in the melee as the gang members violently wrench stock from display stands.

They stole handsets and tablets worth around £150,000 during raids across London and surrounding areas over a six-month period.

In one clip a frightened mother is shown rushing to pick up her son before he is caught up in the gang's dash for the exit.

The males, aged 15 to 22, targeted 42 Carphone Warehouse stores and caused more than £50,000 worth of damage between July and December last year.

They typically operated in a large group, travelling together to the shop they planned to steal from.

They were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Friday after admitting conspiracy to commit burglary.

Detective Inspector Mark Loving, from the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit (NMPCU), said: "This case should act as a warning to anyone involved in this type of activity that the Met and NMPCU will robustly and swiftly deal with those who use intimidation to fulfil their greed."

Jahreau Shepherd, 22, of Orsett Street, Lambeth, and 21-year-old Ugo Wilson, of Aviation Drive, Barnet, were jailed for four years and 27 months respectively. Perry Hedges, 18, of Howard Road, Kingston, was sentenced to 26 months' detention in a young offenders' institution.

Emmanuel Kakala, 18, of Cargreen Road, Croydon was given a suspended 18-month prison sentence and ordered to do 80 hours of community service, while 20-year-old Samuel Warnes, of Egleston Road, Merton, received a suspended 12-month prison sentence and one year's supervision. Three boys, aged 15, 16 and 17, were all sentenced to detention and training for 10, 18 and 12 months respectively.

Press Association

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