Two teenagers have been charged after a dozen phones were stolen during an early-morning robbery spree across Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham.

Nine nicked phones have since been returned to their owners.

On Wednesday - May 18 - officers were on patrol in Hackney when they were called to a victim of a robbery who had tracked her phone to a location nearby.

The officers tracked the phone to a street in Hackney where they spotted a suspect who matched the description given by the victim.

After a short foot chase, the suspect was stopped and searched in Purcell Street and was found to be in possession of 11 phones.

A second suspect was identified during further enquiries; a search of their home address uncovered two large knives and a large quantity of Class B drugs.

The suspects - both aged 16 - were arrested as enquiries got under way to trace the owners of the phones.

Within 36 hours, nine phones had been returned to their owners.

The suspect who was found in possession of the phones was charged with 11 counts of robbery and remanded in custody.

The second suspect was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, and possession of Class B drugs.

Both teenagers are due in Stratford Magistrates (Youth) Court today (May 20).

Detective Sergeant Kara Morgan said: "I hope that it provides some form of comfort to these victims now that they have their mobile phones back. These types of offences can happen very quickly, and victims often aren’t aware that their phone has been taken until it is too late.

"I would urge people to be wary of their surroundings whilst using their mobile phones in public spaces and to be vigilant at all times. Report any offences of this nature to us as soon as they happen.”

Note: Hackney MPS initially reported that the robberies had taken place across Islington, Hackney and Tower Hamlets.