Teenage gang busted by own YouTube video
Ben McPartland A TEENAGE gang who stole mopeds to speed around their neighbourhood has been busted by police after members posted videos of themselves on YouTube. Six members of Maiden Blockz, a gang on Camden Town s Maiden Lane estate, pleaded guilty to
A TEENAGE gang who stole mopeds to speed around their neighbourhood has been busted by police after members posted videos of themselves on YouTube.
Six members of Maiden Blockz, a gang on Camden Town's Maiden Lane estate, pleaded guilty to stealing the bikes at Thames Youth Court last week.
They were all barred from driving by a judge for between 12 and 18 months. But because they are so young - some aged just 14 - the ban will have been lifted by the time they are eligible to drive.
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Officers from the Camden Town Task Force were able to track down the bragging bandits after they posted films on internet site YouTube and MySpace which showed them riding the stolen scooters through red lights and around the three-lane North Circular.
Sentencing them on Thursday, Judge Jane McIvor said: "It's a very serious thing to be brought to court and you have put yourself at risk of ruining your future.
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"It is probably by luck more than anything else that no one was injured or killed and that you yourselves were not injured or killed.
"You have terrorised and put the whole of your community at risk. If you have to come back to court then things will much more serious."
The court heard how the youngsters - who cannot be named for legal reasons - stole the mopeds and then risked their lives by riding through red lights at busy junctions.
One young tearaway drove his scooter down a one-way street, through a No Entry sign and onto the pavement causing a pedestrian to leap for his life. A car then screeched to a halt to avoid crashing into the moped gang.
Another video, which can still be seen online, shows the youths riding on mopeds around the North Circular weaving in and out of heavy traffic.
The court also heard how the mopeds were often set alight after they were used.
Officers were aware of the gang for some time but only had enough evidence once the mob posted their videos online.
Parents and next of kin of the six teenagers were all in court to hear the case. One father said: "I asked my son if he was messed up in all of this and of course he kept on saying no. In my heart of hearts, I knew he was. Since then we have taken him out of the area and he is not allowed back."
As well as the driving bans the teenagers were given six-month referral orders. Three other teenagers pleaded not guilty to the charges of stealing mopeds and driving them dangerously and will face a trial in the near future.