July 31 2014 Latest news:
Friday, July 4, 2014
Police arrested a 21-year-old man in connection with a string of violent moped robberies of expensive jewellery and designer watches during an early morning raid.
Officers from the Flying Squad swooped on a home in Dewey Road, Islington, at around 7.30am today and forced entry to the house before searching the property.
A man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to rob between March 5 and June 20 this year in relation to 12 incidents alleged to have taken place across Camden and Barnet, including in Hampstead and Hampstead Garden Suburb.
Several items were seized during the raid, including a clawhammer, crash helmet and mobile phone, before the suspect was taken to Islington Police Station for questioning.
Officers repeatedly knocked on the man’s door prior to the arrest but were forced to break it down after receiving no response.
As the man was escorted in handcuffs from the house to a waiting police car, a woman who identified herself as the suspect’s sister berated the Ham&High’s photographer for taking shots of the suspect, insisting he is “innocent until proven guilty”.
She then made several offensive two-fingered gestures to the reporter on the scene.
The arrest is believed to be linked to an investigation which resulted in three other Islington men being charged with suspected moped robberies last month.
The three - Corrie Moroney, 22, of Wedmore Street, Upper Holloway; Alan Fitzgerald, 20, of Pollard Close, Holloway; and Ellis Parkinson, 20, of no fixed abode - appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on June 23.
They were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit robbery between February 28 and June 21, in connection with 12 incidents.
The charges relate to a spree of incidents across Camden, Barnet, Islington and Westminster, in which members of the public have been approached by suspects on mopeds and robbed of expensive jewellery, including Rolex watches.
Ch Supt BJ Harrington, of Camden Police, said: “Three men have already been charged in connection with these robberies but we are committed to identifying and bringing to justice every single individual responsible.
“This arrest demonstrates that neighbourhood officers are working closely alongside Metropolitan Police specialist units to ensure this crime is effectively tackled.
“In many cases the victims of these offences have been left traumatized by the excessive violence used, and we want to put these criminals behind bars.”
Last month at a public meeting residents issued emotional pleas for an increased police presence in Hampstead to tackle “ultra-violent” crime – before delivering a petition to the Prime Minister.
The meeting was called following a wave of hammer attacks and moped muggings since the closure of Hampstead Police Station a year ago.