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Two jailed for watch robberies after Op Venice officers trawled CCTV to identify them

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Two jailed for watch robberies after Op Venice officers trawled CCTV to identify them

Officers from Operation Venice have brought two men to justice following a string of violent watch robberies in central London.

Nizar Msaad – 22 (16.11.01) of Dalrymple Close, N14 was sentenced on Friday, 3 May at Wood Green Crown Court to 40 months' imprisonment.

Shaquille Allen - 26 (08.08.97), of no fixed address received 40 months' imprisonment at the same court; his sentencing hearing concluded on Tuesday, 7 May. He was also given an extra 54 months imprisonment for a separate offence.

Both men had pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery and three counts of attempted robbery at an earlier hearing.

All the incidents took place on Saturday, 1 October 2022 in the W1 area, namely:

20:10hrs in Audley Street, W1 attempted robbery.
20:22hrs in Orchard Street, W1 – attempted watch robbery.
20:45hrs in Frith Street, W1 – attempted watch robbery.
21:30hrs in Mortimer Street, W1 – man robbed of his Rolex watch – no injuries.
21:45hrs in Provost Street, W1 - man robbed of his Rolex watch – minor hand injury.

Msaad and Allen used a moped to target members of the public for their expensive watches.

In the first incident in Audley Street a man was approached by two men on a moped. The victim was knocked to the ground and threatened him with a machete in an attempt to steal his watch.

A member of staff from a nearby pub intervened and the two men fled on the moped; the man who was attacked was not injured but left before police arrived.

In fact this victim was never traced, but four other victims came forward and reported being robbed or being subjected to an attempted robbery.

An investigation was launched by detectives from Operation Venice, the Met’s specialist team that targets moped enabled crime.

They spent hours looking at CCTV to trace the suspects and followed the suspects' route through the streets of London.

The CCTV footage showed the two suspects on a moped using machetes as well as punching, kicking and running over their victims in a two-hour crime spree.

Finally they were able to get CCTV that showed the robbers taking off their crash helmets meaning officers were able to identify them.

They were also able to follow the CCTV to locate the bike the pair had used and, when recovered, they found DNA that linked the bike to Msaad and Allen.

Msaad was arrested and charged to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on 16 November 2022.

Allen was charged to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 21 April 2023.

Detective Constable Mike Bagnall from Operation Venice, said: “These were violent attacks on innocent people in the middle of the street in central London. It was just fortunate that no one was seriously injured during these reckless offences.

"The investigation was thorough and detailed and we were able to trace the Msaad and Allen and build an overwhelming case against them. These were violent robberies and I am glad our determination to find those responsible enabled us to take both these men off the streets.”




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