East Finchley: Officer’s foot run over as police and public unite against attempted thefts

The first incident occurred in High Road, East Finchley. Picture: Google

The first incident occurred in High Road, East Finchley. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

East Finchley residents and police teamed up to fight off two “brazen and reckless” attempts to steal mopeds.

One man has been arrested and one stolen moped recovered after police and the public worked together during the incidents yesterday afternoon.

It started after police were called at about 2.45pm to reports of a moped being stolen in High Road, near the junction with Park Road.

A moped driver and pillion passenger were then disturbed by members of the public and made off without taking the motorbike.

The suspects were soon spotted by police in the Elmfield Road area but, before they could give chase, the moped had crashed and the riders ran away.

A member of the public then confronted the suspects, but backed away when threatened with a knife.

But officers – aided by another call from a member of the public – caught a 25-year-old man and arrested him after he hurt himself while climbing fences.

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He was taken to hospital but his injury is not believed to be serious. Once discharged, he will be taken to a police station.

The other suspect remains on the run.

A couple of hours later – at about 5.20pm – officers dealing with the aftermath of the incident were again called by members of the public to alert them to another attemped moped theft, this time in William Close.

After running to the location on foot, officers saw a suspect fleeing the scene.

They then noticed a parked car occupied by four men who were acting suspiciously.

But when they approached the Mercedes CLA 180, it suddenly drove towards them – running over one officer’s foot.

It was later found abandoned nearby and police are trying to establish if it was stolen.

The injured officer bravely continued his day – and finished his shift – before heading off to hospital for an X-ray.

Supt Paul Light of Barnet MPS said: “These incidents, which we are treating as linked, show how the Met and the public can work together to tackle crime – even when, and maybe especially when, offenders appear brazen and reckless.

“This group’s attempts to steal mopeds in East Finchley were thwarted by the intervention of and information provided by the public, as well as the resolve of Barnet police officers.”

She thanked the members of the public and commended the bravery of the officers – particularly the man whose foot was run over.

She added: “I am pleased that a car and stolen moped have been seized; since I am certain that this group did not plan to complete their afternoon of reckless criminality with two fewer vehicles than when they set out. A good deal of forensic evidence has also been obtained which will assist police in identifying outstanding suspects.”

Anyone with information is urged to call Barnet CID via 101 or to contact the Met via Twitter @MetCC.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit the crimestoppers-uk.org web site.