A gang who terrorised west London with their snatch and grab spree have been jailed.

The five men, aged 16 to 20, targeted members of the public, mainly females, for their iPhones, Samsung phones and iPads as they rode on a stolen moped onto pavements and then swiped the devices from people’s hands during an 11-day rampage from September 21 to October 3, 2013.

Walid Hnida, 18, of Gwynne Road, Battersea, was sentenced to three years and four months in prison, Michael Ahmed, 20, of Maysoule Road, Clapham, was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison while Courtney Morgan, 19, was given two years in prison.

Deandre Riley-Reid, 16, received a youth rehabilitation order and Jerome Ashley Williams, 17 was given eight months in prison at the hearing at Kingston Crown Court today and yesterday. All men pleaded guilty at a hearing in March 2014.

On September 25, 2013 they snatched ten phones in just five hours, with most of the 46 offences - worth £120,000 - committed across Hammersmith and Fulham, Wandsworth, Lambeth and Richmond.

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Most of the time people were not injured but eight of the offences resulted in injury, including a heavily pregnant woman who was due to give birth in a matter of weeks while another woman was punched in the face before they stole her phone.

One woman was dragged along the pavement as she tried to keep hold of her phone and another was pulled towards the moped as both its driver and pillion passenger tried to snatch her phone, which caused burn injuries on her leg from the hot exhaust meaning she had to go to hospital.

Plain clothes policeman worked with local intelligence and CCTV footage to seize the moped in Battersea on October 2, 2013.

Detective Inspector Mark Blackshaw, from Wandsworth CID, said: “This was an organised group of criminals who targeted commuters and innocent members of the public who were going about their ordinary business.

"It became evident that the violence being used began to escalate throughout the series, including mopeds being ridden indiscriminately along busy pavements. I am in no doubt that had these offenders not been caught quickly, more serious injuries to the public would have been sustained.

“I would like to place on record my recognition of the excellent detective work and sheer tenacity that went into this investigation. The dedicated enquiry team worked together with the local community and the Crown Prosecution Service to bring the offenders to justice”.

 
  • All members of the public are encouraged to register their own property to help police to recover property to its lawful owner if it gets stolen.