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A thief who tried to steal a handbag from a motorist’s car during a "brazen daylight robbery" attempt will be deported after serving a two-year prison sentence, police have said.
Karolos Kaminskas was on a moped in West Kensington, a Met Police spokesman said, when he pulled up alongside his 47-year-old victim as she sat in her car at traffic lights on Hammersmith Road last year.
A tussle ensued between the 28-year-old and the woman, before passers-by came to her aid and forced Kaminskas to flee on foot.
He was jailed for two years at Isleworth Crown Court on August 4 and will then be sent home to Lithuania where he is wanted for other criminal matters, police said in a statement.
The robbery attempt happened on September 29. Kaminskas was riding a stolen moped when he pulled up beside his victim, opened the car door and grabbed her bag from the passenger seat, police said. A struggle subsequently ensued between Kaminskas and the woman as she tried to keep hold of her bag.
Other alert road-users saw what was happening and tried to catch Kaminskas. A taxi driver pulled up and moved his mini cab to block the moped, forcing Kaminskas to abandon it and flee on foot, the Met added. He was pursued by members of public in their cars and one man on his motorbike but managed to escape.
Kaminskas threw his helmet across a fence onto railway tracks which police later recovered with the help of Transport for London (TfL). Following forensic examinations, Kaminskas’ DNA was found on both the helmet and handlebars of the moped.
It was later discovered the moped had been stolen two months earlier from a leisure centre in Stoke Newington.
Kaminskas remained at large until February 9, when he was arrested in Fulham on an unrelated matter and charged with robbery and handling stolen goods.
A jury found him guilty on both matters and he was given two-year jail for each offence to run concurrently.
During the investigation, detectives established Kaminskas was a wanted man in his home-country, where he will be sent back to at the end of his stint behind bars.
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Constable Robert Rodak from Hammersmith & Fulham CID praised the public who came to the victim’s aid, but said it was a move not always recommended.
He said: “This brazen daylight robber was thwarted by public-spirited Londoners who bravely chased him away.
“We would always advise the public to carefully assess the risk of situations like this, however sometimes people react instinctively to situations, and on this occasion their actions led to a robber fleeing empty-handed, the recovery of a stolen vehicle along with key evidence which later led police in bringing Kaminskas to justice.”