Teen phone thief banned from using a bicycle for three years
- Credit: Archant
A teenager has been banned from using a bicycle for three years after being caught snatching phones from pedestrians in Camden.
Yhan Mabanda, 18, of Islington, pleaded guilty to snatching a phone from an unsuspecting pedestrian in Holborn on the evening of April 9.
The theft was captured on CCTV and Mabanda was arrested shortly afterwards in possession of five mobile phones and a knife.
He was sentenced at Highbury Magistrates Court to eight weeks, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work.
He was also forced to pay £165 in court and victim costs.
A Criminal Behaviour Order, granted last Thursday, has also seen him banned from using any non-four wheeled vehicle, which includes the use of any bicycle.
Mabanda is also banned from entering certain parts of Camden borough.
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In his defence, his lawyer said the teen was motivated by “financial pressures” and admitted the theft was a “silly decision to make some quick cash”.
The ban marks a tougher line taken by police against phone snatchers as north London boroughs, like Camden and Islington, suffer a wave of offences.
Chief Supt Richard Tucker, borough commander of Camden, spoke about the issue at the most recent Camden Safer Neighbourhood Board Meeting last month.
While saying phone manufacturers had made “great progress” in allowing victims to remotely render stolen phones “unusable”, he said even the screens of these phones alone are quite valuable.
He added: “It’s a challenge [catching thieves] because of the tactics they adopt [but] we have a reduction plan in place.”