Members of a moped robbery gang who snatched more than 100 mobiles during a string of attacks in London have been jailed for 13 years.
Claude Parkinson, 18, and two other teenagers, aged 15 and 16 and both from Islington, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, admitted to conspiracy to rob between April 18 and May 5.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the offences took place on just five days.
During this period, there were 212 robbery and snatch offences in Westminster - 83 of these were committed by this gang, according to the Met Police.
Parkinson, of Thornhill Square, N1, was sentenced to five years and three months' imprisonment by Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday (October 11).
The two other teenagers were jailed for four years and two months each.
Masking their appearance with helmets and motorcycle clothing, the gang rode on two motorbikes and pounced on members of the public, often driving at speed up onto pavements to steal phones.
On several occasions they used violence, wielding a hammer and a tyre lever.
At one point they used the hammer to smash the window of a car which chased them.
Andrew Caird, the CPS reviewing lawyer, said: “These young men preyed on a huge number of members of the public on the streets of London over a series of days, using violence or threats on some occasions.
“Their victims were in many cases extremely traumatised by the robberies, and on at least one occasion a victim was very nearly hit by the mopeds.”
The teenagers were part of a wider crime wave of more than 100 such offences a week at one point in Westminster alone, according to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Parkinson rode the lead moped on all five days, while the two other teens admitted being involved in 42 offences each over two days.
A fourth man, Samsul Chowdhury, 40, of Usk Street, E2, who also admitted being part of the conspiracy to rob, admitted a further charge of handling stolen goods at an earlier hearing.
He was jailed for four years and 10 months on Wednesday (October 11).
Known as ‘Boss’ he had advertised that he was willing to pay money for mobile telephones and had been in regular contact with the gang.
When his home was raided police found 35 phones, several laptops and other items stolen from two residential burglaries.
His detailed accounts showed between April 5 and May 17 this year he sold 327 items for a total of £52,150.
Speaking after the teenagers' sentencing, Mr Caird added: “One witness described them whooping with joy as they made a snatch.
“However photos of the gang taken on May 4 by a photographer with a long lens captured such detail of Parkinson’s distinctive eyes, fingers and jacket, that he was identified.
“This along with mobile phone message data, clothing comparisons, and eyewitness accounts led to the guilty pleas and today’s prison sentences.
“Londoners should be able to go about their daily lives without being targeted on the streets in this way.”
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