Mid­land moped men­aces linked to 450 crimes

Shock­ing fig­ures show scooter crooks be­hind av­er­age of two of­fences ev­ery week across West Mid­lands since 2013

Solihull News - - NEWS - JEANETTE OLD­HAM jeanette. old­ham@ trin­i­tymir­ror. com

SCOOTER crim­i­nals have been linked to al­most 450 of­fences in the West Mid­lands – in­clud­ing rob­beries, as­saults and drug deal­ing.

New fig­ures show the moped crooks have been be­hind an av­er­age of two of­fences ev­ery week on the streets of the re­gion since 2013. The scooter rid­ers have been linked to 442 of­fences, in­clud­ing 83 so far in this year alone.

To­tal of­fences in­clude 189 thefts, 51 vi­o­lence against the per­son – in­clud­ing threats to kill, ma­li­cious wound­ings and com­mon as­saults – as well as 50 drugs of­fences and 16 of dan­ger­ous driv­ing.

The West Mid­lands Po­lice fig­ures, pub­lished un­der Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion, show the rid­ers have also been linked to 32 rob­beries since 2013, in­clud­ing five raids this year.

Last month it was re­ported how po­lice were hunt­ing moped- rid­ing crim­i­nals af­ter a spate of at­tempted drive- by mo­bile phone thefts in Birm­ing­ham.

Spark­brook Po­lice urged peo­ple to keep phones and hand­bags se­cure af­ter three snatch at­tempts in Kings Heath in one day.

They tweeted: “Im­por­tant mes­sage. If you must use your mo­bile phone in the street be mind­ful of per­sons on mo­tor­bikes scoot­ers at­tempt­ing to snatch it.”

Scoot­ers or mopeds have been in­creas­ingly used by gangs for thefts of mo­bile phones and hang­bags, rob­beries and even acid at­tacks.

They are par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar in Lon­don where the con­ges­tion charge, high in­sur­ance costs and busy streets have put peo­ple off us­ing cars.

Mopeds are also less likely to have alarms and im­mo­bilis­ers, while steer­ing locks and chains are eas­ily cut through, mak­ing them eas­ier to snatch.

De­liv­ery driv­ers for firms live De­liv­eroo and fast food take­away chains have been tar­geted and had their mopeds stolen by crooks in Lon­don.

The Metropoli­tan po­lice is­sued CCTV of three moped gang mem­bers af­ter a rob­bery out­side the Hindu tem­ple on Claren­den Rise in Lewisham in June.

A 52- year- old woman was stand­ing out­side the Hindu tem­ple on Claren­den Rise, when she was ap­proached by a sus­pect who was wear­ing a crash hel­met.

The sus­pect grabbed her gold neck­lace and tried to re­move it from her neck. The vic­tim re­sisted and was dragged to the floor be­fore the neck­lace broke free.

The sus­pect then got on to the back of one of two mopeds that were present be­fore they drove off with the as­sailant as a pil­lion pas­sen­ger.

CCTV over­look­ing the tem­ple cap­tured the at­tack.

CCTV images re­leased by The Met po­lice of three moped gang mem­bers af­ter a rob­bery out­side the Hindu tem­ple in Lewisham

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