Haringey moped robbery victims full of praise for police

A stock image of a moped rider in London. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA

A stock image of a moped rider in London. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Victims of a one-hour moped phone snatching spree around Haringey last week have spoken of their fear and praised police for their speedy response.

At least seven people were robbed on Thursday afternoon between 1.15pm and 2.15pm as the crooks rode around Hornsey, Crouch End and Muswell Hill.

A 14-year-old boy from Tottenham has been charged over the spree and appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.

Police recovered 13 phones that were stolen, and have now returned nine of them. Two of the victims to get theirs back told the Ham&High about their ordeal.

Simona Stoynova was robbed at about 2pm while looking on her phone for a nearby bus stop at the junction of Elmfield Avenue and Tottenham Lane.

She said: “My first reaction was to go after them, but it seemed as if my body refused and I shuddered. I did not know what to do.

“One man saw what happened and helped me. Across the street is a fitness centre and he took me there and explained to a woman what had happened and she immediately called the police. I am grateful to these people.”

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Simona says she did not expect the call from police the next day saying they had found her phone, but is warning more people to be cautious.

“I doubt this kind of theft will stop,” she said. “ I really do not know what can be done. I am also grateful to the policemen who so quickly responded.”

Another woman, who asked not to be named, had her phone, purse and passport stolen in Burghley Road, Harringay, at 1.25pm.

“I was paying for my parking and saw a moped but didn’t think nothing of it,” she said. “I went to put my card in my handbag which was in the car and they literally took it out of my hand. I thought: ‘Did that just happen?’.

“I was in disbelief, but a gentleman saw it and called police, who were there in less than a minute.”

The 59-year-old from Luton, who works with youngsters, said she now was scared every time she comes to London.

“I’m going to go to the parking meter and wonder whose watching me. They know you have to take your phone out to pay. When you become a victim you can’t help it [worrying].

“But my experience was not half as traumatic as it could have been if not for the police being there so quickly and dealing with it. They took me to a bank to cancel my card and prevented it from being as bad as it could have been.

“They did a fantastic job.”

A third victim, Eliot Kingsley, also praised officerss, adding: “People need to beware that even in a very quiet residential area this sort of crime can happen if you’re not careful to keep your phone out of sight.”