Moped gang smashes through Highgate cafe window to rob terrified customers

Thieves on moped used hammers to smash window of Gails bakery and rob customers

Thieves on moped used hammers to smash window of Gails bakery and rob customers - Credit: Archant

Terrified customers fled into toilets to escape a moped gang who smashed through the front window of Gails bakery and snatched a laptop.

The cafe, in Highgate High Street, was attacked yesterday afternoon at around 2:45pm as it was full of mums on the school run.

One mother, too frightened to give her name, said she hid in the bathroom with five other people, all of them convinced that the robbers had guns.

She said: “I saw the moped approach and instinctively thought that doesn’t look right. My mother had her phone stolen outside the Whittington Hospital two weeks ago. I keep hearing about people having their phones taken.

“There were two of them, wearing helmets. They started smashing the window with hammers but it sounded like gun fire and people just panicked.

“Tables were being up ended. I ended up in a bathroom with five other people, one of whom had an 18-month baby.

She added: “It seemed like a terrorist attack had happened, We live in heightened times, we just didn’t know. If they are carrying some sort of weapon you don’t know. Are they going to kill people? Throw acid? When we came out we were told it was a robbery. There was a lot of broken glass.

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They struck that window with considerable force - a lot of force for a laptop. They do it to make people frightened. They know if they walk through the door somebody will try to stop them. Really nasty, brutal and done with complete disregard for people. There could have been children in there. They could have easily hurt someone.

Highgate should be safe. These are targeted attacks, there should be a greater police presence on our streets.”

Police are linking the robbery to a series of mobile phone robberies in the street in Jackson’s Lane five minutes earlier.

A police spokesman confirmed they attended the bakery after calls at 2:44pm on Monday.

He said: “Officers attended and found that a customer in the bakery had been robbed of a laptop by one of two men who fled on a scooter. The window to the café had also been smashed with a hammer. Both suspects - who left before police arrived - wore dark clothing and made off on one scooter.

“We are linking this incident to calls made to police at 14:39hrs concerning two men on mopeds stealing mobile phones in Jackson Lane, N6.”

Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.