Pair are jailed for moped crime wave
PUBLISHED: 14:28 26 July 2017 | UPDATED: 16:19 26 July 2017
Two young thieves who terrorised women with a scooter-based crime spree have been locked up for a total of 15 years.
Joynul Ali, 20, was imprisoned for five years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery at Southwark Crown Court in February, while Hamza El-Guerbouzi, also 20, was sentenced to 10 years’ behind bars after being found guilty of the same crime in May. He received a concurrent six-month sentence after pleading guilty of possession of a bladed article in a public place.
Ali, of Tavistock Crescent in Westbourne Park, and El-Guerbouzi, of Ashmore Road in West Kilburn, carried out nine robberies or attempted robberies from the back of a scooter in December last year, the court heard.
With Ali driving and El-Guerbouzi riding pillion, the pair targeted lone women, whose handbags they would attempt to snatch before fleeing on their vehicle.
One of their victims was knocked unconscious by the force of the attack, and also suffered a broken collarbone.
Their capture was primarily down to CCTV footage.
Westminster Police identified El-Guerbouzi, in a distinctive helmet, attempting to withdraw cash from an ATM 15 minutes after stealing a woman’s handbag on Marylebone Road. Ten minutes later, they were seen on CCTV using the card to buy food from a McDonalds restauranton Kilburn High Road.
The duo were arrested over two days in January this year, Ali at his Tavistock Crescent home and El-Guerbouzi, in Queensway in Westbourne Park. A search of their respective homes uncovered the stolen property.
“This was a fantastic result, which has seen two perpetrators of audacious and violent robberies from scooters receive a lengthy time in jail,” said Detective Inspector Gill Collinson from the Westminster Crime Squad. “These sentences send out a strong message that such incidents will be dealt with robustly by the Met and the courts.
“Police are working hard to keep the public safe and make the streets hostile territory for criminals who use scooters, mopeds, motorbikes and bicycles to snatch valuables from members of the public.
“It is imperative that the public are aware of their surroundings at all times and keep their phones secure as this crime happens in an instant.”