DETECTIVES investigating a spate of ‘moped-enabled’ thefts in East London have released footage of one of the thefts.
On Monday, 17 and Tuesday, 18 April, there were seven reported offences in and around the Barking and Dagenham area which officers believe were carried out by the same group of suspects.
One of the incidents was captured by a victim who was wearing a helmet camera.
The 58-year-old man was riding his motorcycle on Roden Street in Ilford at around 3.15pm on Tuesday, 18 April, when he was surrounded by seven suspects on four mopeds.
The video shows the man being attacked with a fire extinguisher and falling to the floor, as they attempted to steal his motorcycle.
They were unsuccessful and subsequently fled the scene.
Detective Sergeant Dean Grafton, from the East Area Command Unit based in Ilford, said: “We are appealing for any information as to the identity and whereabouts of this gang that are clearly targeting motorcyclists in the East London area.
“They are often seen in pairs on mopeds or scooters and with a fire extinguisher to distract their victim with a view to stealing the motorbikes.
“If anyone has recorded video footage of the group, please can they contact us.”
Two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old were arrested and subsequently released under investigation. Enquiries continue.
Labour General Election candidate for Dagenham and Rainham, Jon Cruddas, has previously called on police to prioritise action against scooter gangs, and also wants a change to the law that says when these criminals remove their helmets police cannot chase them for fear of injuring them.
He said: “My team recently carried out a survey into crime and anti-social behaviour and found 95 per cent of people said the problem had got worse in recent years. As MP for the area for the last 16 years I have to, sadly, agree.
“I now intend to take this matter up with the Borough Commander for Dagenham, Rainham, Elm Park and South Hornchurch. We need to look at a host of ways of tackling the scourge of these scooter gangs.
“On one level that could mean speed cameras and traffic-calming measures. But what I really want to see is a decisive commitment by police to treat these as serious crimes and back that up with extra patrols and a determination to investigate all such incidents as a priority.”
Any witnesses or anyone who has any information is urged to contact the investigation team on 07766 247747, or via 101, or by tweeting @MetCC
To give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org