London scooter-jacking CCTV | NEWS
Following on from last night’s shocking story about David Babbs being attacked and having his leg smashed by claw wielding robbers we’ve got some more disturbing news for you.
This shocking CCTV footage comes from Leytonstone, a suburb of London and shows two lads outside a shop, seemingly hanging around waiting for their next victim to come along. Thankfully they were later sentenced for this and 33 other attacks. John Smith, of Romford Road, Forest Gate and Shemar Williams, of Chestnut Avenue, Forest Gate – both 16-years-old, were caught and sentenced for conspiracy to rob. The pair admitted to carrying out 34 offences in a two week crimewave. Their crimes usually involved hammers or knives and included attacking and robbing lone women at night, often after following them on a stolen scooter. They also robbed scooter riders by forcing them to stop, then either threatening them or assaulting them with a weapon. At least one rider was hospitalised following an attack.
Interestingly, these two dangerous lads live less than four miles from where David Babbs was attacked: Man attacked with hammer. Their modus operandi is known to be very similar, as are the weapons and transport used in the attacks. Their physical appearance fits the crime as well. The dangerous duo were also out on bail at the time of David’s attack. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that it might be worth speaking to these two as they live it up in prison, where hopefully Mr Big would like them to ‘Pass me the soap bruv.’
Moment of attack
The CCTV footage shows Smith and Williams waiting outside a shop in the dark. The pair jump up when they see a scooter coming, they force the rider to stop by walking into his path, then when he resists a hammer is swung at his head before the rider jumps off. The little toe-rags hop on the scooter and ride off wearing hoodies, leaving the shocked owner feeling thankful for his escape.
You do the crime, let’s do the time
Smith and Williams were sentenced on Friday 29th April at Snaresbrook Crown court. Smith was jailed for five years, whilst Williams was given three-and-a-half years, plus a further 18-months for two separate knife-point robberies.
Scooter-jacking and taking the keys is simply the easiest way to steal a scooter with a built-in immobiliser, however other methods exist. This has lead to an epidemic of two-wheeled theft and crime that spreads far beyond the isolated incidence of scooter-jacking.
Smith and Williams are just the tip of the iceberg in London. They admitted to 34 crimes in a two-week period. That’s only the crimes that were reported. Wielding a hammer and a knife with intent should be punishable by a much harsher sentence.
Given the size of the two-wheeled theft problem, and the fact that the police have their hands tied by a ‘no helmet no chase’ policy means that theft victims can end up taking matters into their own hands. Just recently Michael Gatenby, was jailed by Teeside Crown Court for three years after being convicted of deliberately ramming into his own stolen motorcycle injuring three teenagers. Two of the teenagers were found injured at the scene, one of them was described in court as having suffered “Catastrophic injuries”. Until someone comes up with a better solution this cycle of violence looks only set to continue.
We’re far from wanting to sensationalise crimes like these. We certainly don’t want to stop people riding, or scare you into keeping out of certain areas. By its exposed nature, riding does make us more vulnerable but you shouldn’t have to avoid the route you usually take, or feel afraid.
The more people who know about what’s happening in our inner cities the better. It’s a big enough problem in London for the Metropolitan Police to have a dedicated ‘Moped Crime Team’, named Operation Venice. As we all know, a moped is only up to a 50cc but to the general public (and seemingly the police) and media, a moped can be anything from a Piaggio Zip to a Vespa GTS, or a 100mph Yamaha T-Max. Last year the Metropolitan Police openly admitted they wouldn’t pursue any scooter/moped/bike thieves if they weren’t wearing a crash helmet. This crazy loophole means kids can evade capture quite easily by just wearing a hoodie and mask to hide their faces. They can ride off on a stolen scooter, or rob people at will knowing they won’t be chased.