Suspected motor scooter thieves caught on camera in Belsize Park
PUBLISHED: 19:32 08 May 2017 | UPDATED: 14:27 09 May 2017
A pair of men on a moped armed with an angle grinder and hammer circled shocked onlookers four times even after one caught them on camera.
Police were called to Fleet Road at 6pm last Thursday following reports of two men attempting to steal a moped.
But before officers arrived the suspects fled after witnesses rushed to the aid of an elderly woman who was challenging the two men.
Watching the scene unfold from a window, one onlooker took photos of the pair and joined others in an attempt to scare them off.
The man, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “We just thought, ‘What the hell is going on?’ This was going on in broad daylight.”
But in spite of being confronted by at least six men the pair returned after racing off - with one raising the hammer at the crowd - circling the area on four separate occasions.
“I’m still shocked. They must have known I got a decent image of them, but they came back,” the Camden resident said.
The incident comes amid a spate of moped-enabled crimes with thieves mounting pavements to grab phones and other valuables from pedestrians.
“It just seems like an epidemic. We’ve been aware of the menace of moped thefts. You get kids doing stuff and guys robbing houses, but this seems like an escalation. These are desperate people,” he added.
The scooter was damaged, but the would-be thieves failed to take it. Enquiries continue,