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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Met officers crack down on London-wide organised phone thefts

Met officers raided multiple addresses and arrested four men, seizing 100 stolen phones and recovering thousands in assets and cash linked to fraudulent activity on Monday 26 February.

Officers from the proactive crime team in Lambeth and Southwark ran a diligent operation to crack down on personal robbery and theft.

Officers used tracking data provided by the victims to narrow down the locations of the stolen devices and the addresses to where they were held.

Working in collaboration with the British Transport Police, UK Border Agency, and the Met’s dog unit, officers raided three addresses and discovered mobile phones and evidence of multiple false identities which were used to set up fake bank accounts.

Robberies have a significant impact on victims, leaving them with long-term implications such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. By dismantling and disrupting organised gangs and networks through swift police action we aim to see a reduction in the number of phone thefts and robberies across London.

PC Ciara Larkin-Smith from Central South Command Unit said: “We want today’s arrests to be a deterrent to phone thefts and robberies across London and we will continue to work with our partners and communities to ensure that individuals that commit these crimes are brought to justice.

Image of recovered phones. Image: Met Police.

“Our investigation saw the recovery of approximately 100 stolen mobile phones and thousands worth in assets and cash, which had been gained by the suspects as a result of fraud.

“Tackling neighbourhood crime and serious violence will remain a priority for the Met. Through dedicated proactive police operations and an increase in officers in local theft and robbery hotspots, we hope to see a huge reduction in the number of offences that occur within London.

“It is important that these crimes are reported as soon as it happens as this it is crucial in helping officers catch those responsible and making communities and London a safer place.”

As part of the New Met for London Plan, localised proactive teams were set up to deal with crimes affecting each particular area. This localised approach has seen successes in the Lambeth and Southwark area.

Officers will continue to offer advice to communities as they crackdown on robbery and theft, and people are advised to look at the Met’s website which includes steps to help prevent people from becoming a victim of crime and what to do following a theft or robbery.

  • Use your device’s security features, apps or PIN locking mechanisms to protect your data and prevent the phone being used if stolen.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings and pay attention to who is around you.
  • Keep valuables such as mobile phones, watches and cash out of sight and plan your route home when on a night out.
  • Consider installing a tracker app on your smartphone, which are readily available online. If your mobile’s ever stolen, act promptly.
  • If you are a victim of robbery, you can provide the best chance of catching them by contacting the police as soon as possible by dialling 999.
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