Follow Metropolitan Police

Zombie knife enabled moped bandits who robbed, snatched phones and carried out smash and grab raids jailed

News   •   Mar 08, 2019 18:06 GMT

Image: Guilty moped bandits

Seven moped bandits who snatched mobile phone, committed robberies in Camden, Islington and Westminster and targeted luxury shops for aggravated burglaries have been sentenced over a two day period - Thursday, 7 and Friday, 8 March at Blackfriars Crown Court.

These sentences are the conclusion of a two-year intelligence-led operation to dismantle an organised Islington-based moped gang who robbed three mobile phone outlets in north London between May and November 2016.

Eighteen members of the gang, including three handlers, were convicted during trials that took place between August 2017 and October 2018.

It follows a complex investigation by officers from the Met's Operation Vocare - set up to target the gang in its entirety, as well as officers from the Flying Squad, against gang members who targeted Boodles jewellery store and Saint Laurent, in the west end of London, last year.

Detective Sergeant Danny Watts of Operation Vocare, said: "I am very pleased with the totality of these sentences which have contributed to the reduction in moped crime and made the streets of north London safer.

"The imprisonment of this organised vicious criminal gang who caused hurt, harm and misery to countless people, and criminal damage to shops and retailors, is the culmination of a complex and successful operation.

"This operation shows we are unwavering in our resolve to bring criminals to justice. I hope the fact that they are all now behind bars, unable to commit more offences and injury to people provides reassurance to the public that we do relentlessly pursue violent criminals and bring them to justice."

Anyone who has any information in regard to these crimes or any moped enabled crime is urged to contact local police by dialling 101. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or tweet @MetCC with any information.

All of the defendants were convicted on Friday, 15 February at the same court.

On Friday, 8 March the following defendant were sentenced:

[B] Alfie Warry, 21 (03.09.97) of Baldwin Gardens, Camden was found guilty of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary at Saint Laurent for which he received nine years.

[C] Harry Doyle, 18 (28.07.00) of Radnor Street, Islington received a total of six years for the conspiracy to commit robbery at Boodles jewellery store and four years for grievous bodily harm in relation to the assault of the 48-year-old member of the public..

All of Doyle's sentences are to run concurrently so the total is six years. He had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery at Boodles jewellery store, but he was found guilty of assault of the 48-year-old member of the public.

[D] Reece Salmon, 20, (06.05.98) of City Road, Islington pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery (Camden, Islington, Westminster, and the City) and was jailed for three years and nine months. He was found not guilty for conspiracy to commit robbery at Boodles jewellery store.

[E] Henry Histon, 18 (21.02.00), of Gilbert Place, Camden received a total of six years for conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary at Saint Laurent and six years for conspiracy to commit robbery at Boodles jewellery store. All of Histon's sentences will run concurrently. He had pleaded guilty to both counts.

[F] A 17-year-old boy received a total of six years' in a young offenders' institute for conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, namely 17 linked offences at three mobile phone stores across north and east London in 2016 and conspiracy to commit robbery in Camden, Islington, Westminster, and the City. He had pleaded guilty to both offences.

[G] A 17-year-old boy who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, namely 17 linked offences at three mobile phone stores across north and east London in 2016, and conspiracy to commit robbery (Camden, Islington, Westminster, and the City) will now be sentenced on 22 March.

[H] A 16-year-old boy pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery (Camden, Islington, Westminster, and the City), and conspiracy to commit robbery at Boodles jewellery store. He was sentenced in May 2018 at Highbury Youth Court after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery at Boodles jewellery store. He received a two-year sentence in a young offenders' institute. He has now received a one-year detention and training order.

On Thursday, 7 March the following defendant was sentenced:

[A] Miguel St Martin, 21 (23.07.97) of Argyle Square, Kings Cross received a total of 12 years for two street robberies in central London that occurred in 2018; two years for conspiracy to commit robbery (Camden, Islington, Westminster, and the City); four years for conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary at Saint Laurent; eight years and ten months; for conspiracy to commit robbery at Boodles jewellery store.

All of St Martin's sentences are to run concurrently so the total is 12 years. He pleaded guilty to all counts apart from conspiracy to rob Boodles jewellery store for which he was found guilty.

In February 2018, Vocare officers' attention was again drawn to these gang after they discovered that a garage in Central Street, pertaining to Macclesfield House in Islington was being used by other gang members who were snatching mobile phones from members of the public in Camden, Islington, Westminster, and the City. The snatch thefts occurred between August 2017 and February 2018.

On the 4 February 2018, St Martin, Salmon and [H] were filmed by people in an office block at Thavies Inn, Holborn stealing a moped in broad daylight from a parking lot, using an angle grinder. A member of the public approached them but was dissuaded when Salmon brandished a 'zombie' knife. The moped was taken, but later abandoned.

A search of the garage recovered three stolen mopeds, stolen mobile phones, SIM cards from stolen phones, the handle from a broken zombie knife and a replica firearm.

CCTV footage identified suspects [A] Miguel St Martin, 21; [B] Reece Salmon, 20; [F] and [G] - two 17 year olds; and [H] a 16-year-old.

During the compiling of evidence, on 26 March 2018, at 11:00hrs St Martin, Harry Doyle, 18, Henry Histon, 18, a 16-year-old boy [H], and two other as yet unidentified people attempted to rob Boodles jewellery store on Sloane Street SW1. Armed with weapons including axes - samurai swords - three of the suspects travelled there in a stolen Land Rover Discovery, and three were on unregistered mopeds which they had parked in a nearby back street the night before. They tried to ram the rear doors of the building with the Land Rover, but were unsuccessful. They then attempted to smash the doors with sledgehammers - again unsuccessfully.

A 48-year-old man interceded and grabbed defendant [H] but was set upon by the rest of the gang. He received a stab wound to his back and another to his knee, inflicted by one of the axes.

The wounds were non-life threatening and the victim made a full-recovery. The gang then fled the scene on the mopeds, leaving behind the Land Rover.

[H] A 16-year-old boy was arrested later that day by officers after he was found hiding in a nearby school. They also recovered the three mopeds used in the robbery parked in a nearby street, as well as clothing, weapons and a phone used in the offence, which were submitted for forensic analysis.

On 24 April 2018, at 00:15hrs, St Martin; Alfie Warry, 21; [E] Henry Histon, 18; and an as yet unidentified fourth person, burgled the Saint Laurent Store, Sloane Street, SW1. They smashed in the door and stole £90,000 worth of handbags and left on mopeds.

On the same day, Op Vocare officers tracked St Martin to a hotel in Kings Cross. He was arrested on suspicion conspiracy to commit robbery in Camden, Islington, Westminster, and the City. In his room a 'zombie' Knife, four stolen mobile phones, and two Saint Laurent handbags, collectively worth £10,000, were seized.

The discovery of the handbags led OP Vocare officers to investigate the Saint Laurent burglary. Store CCTV identified clothing worn by the suspects during the burglary - some of which were found in St Martin's hotel room. CCTV from the hotel, identified further suspects in the offence - namely Warry and Histon. The fourth person is still to be identified.

St Martin was then arrested for the Saint Laurent burglary. Information from mobile phones used in the robbery tied him to both robbery offences.

On 20 June 2018, officers from Operation Vocare and the Flying Squad, arrested the outstanding suspects, defendants B, C and E.