August 20 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, May 15, 2014
A scourge of moped ram-raiders attacking homes has spread from the Suburb to Hampstead – as audacious robbers battered their way into the home of a professional footballer before robbing him.
Gangs of scooter riding robbers attacked homes in Hampstead Garden Suburb earlier this year and the crime wave now appears to have spread to neighbouring Hampstead.
Four individuals – all said to be dressed in black – attempted to bash through the front door of a footballer’s luxury home in The Mount, by ramming their mopeds into the front door.
After hearing the commotion, the footballer opened the door and a struggle with the star ended as the robbers stormed their way into his home, attempted to snatch his watch from his wrist, and made off with a bag.
They evaded police by making a getaway on their bikes through the streets of Hampstead.
One neighbour, who witnessed the incident in The Mount and alerted the police, said he’d “never seen anything like it”.
“I heard a commotion outside and went to have a look,” he said. “Two mopeds with four people on the back were outside a neighbour’s front door.
“One of the guys tried to kick it in but bounced off in a rather comical fashion. They then tried to ram it with their scooters.
“It looked like they knew which house they wanted to get into – it’s quite concerning.”
Another resident, who heard “shouting and revved engines” said: “It really was quite scary. We spoke to [the victim] afterwards and he looked quite shocked.”
Another similar but unsuccessful moped raid is understood to have happened in West Hampstead just an hour earlier.
The robbery – on Friday, May 2 at about 10.30pm – comes not long after similar “moped gang” robberies forced Suburb residents to fit bars onto windows and reinforce front doors to protect their properties earlier this year.
Det Con Andy Palmer, of Camden’s acquisitive crime unit, said: “I am sure this gang is known to certain members of the community so I would urge them to contact police before someone is seriously hurt.”