MOPED gangs are planning a brutal phone theft spree ahead of Christmas – despite a police crackdown.
And they have defiantly told cops looking to ram them off their bikes: “Go f*** yourselves – we’re not stopping for no-one.”
Brazen bikers are going after valuable Samsungs and iPhones to sell on for up to £250 each in a racket they call “apple picking”.
Daily Star Sunday investigators met a ruthless mob of muggers who are taunting police trying to take them out with tough new tactics.
The Met have been chasing thieves and knocking them off their bikes.
They say the tactic has driven down thefts and robberies involving mopeds and scooters.
But cash-hungry gangs eyeing big rewards are ignoring the threat as shoppers hit the high street for presents.
We met two moped muggers in south London – one aged 23 and one 26 – who told of their operation and warned: “We’re gonna hit hard over Christmas.”
Wearing a mask to conceal his identity, one said: “We usually go out and apple pick. That means snatching phones from people’s hands mostly.
“High-value phones like the Samsung S9 and the S9+ as well as the iPhone X or any of the new ones.
“It’s easy to spot the Samsungs because the camera’s in the middle.
“We have an Asian guy who buys up all of our stock – anything over two phones, he takes off our hands.
“Depending on the phone and the condition they’ll fetch up to £250 a go. On a good day we’ll do three grand easy.
“Sometimes we go for watches – an AP [Audemars Piguet], Rolex or Patek Philippe – but that involves lots of work and sometimes you get fakes.
“You’ll also often get heroes trying to stop you. That’s when it becomes dangerous, for us and them.
“We don’t carry guns because it’s too on top but we do have bike chains which we’ve used before.
“So we tend to stick to phones. A snatch is too quick for the heroes. You’re away before they can do anything. But a watch