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Caught on CCTV – moped-riding phone thieves in Holborn Viaduct

The City of London Police is asking for people’s help to identify a pair of thieves on a moped caught on CCTV snatching a mobile phone out of a man’s hands.

The footage, filmed just days before Christmas, is a timely reminder to people that thieves riding on motorbikes and scooters use this method within the Square Mile, as well as neighbouring parts of the capital, to steal phones while peoples’ attention is diverted.

The City of London Police is targeting the trend as part of Operation Attrition, a joint campaign with the Metropolitan Police Service against two-wheel enabled crime such as mobile phone snatches by moped riders. Phone snatchers are taking advantage of people who often have their focus elsewhere while they walk around with their phones out, giving offenders on mopeds or bicycles the opportunity to snatch phones – sometimes using force to knock the phone out of the victim’s hands or assaulting the victim to take it.

This clip was filmed shortly before 2.40am on Thursday, 22 December when two suspects riding a moped and wearing dark helmets rode up on onto the pavement in the Holborn Viaduct area.

Briefly slowing down beside a man using his phone in the middle of the street, one of the pair snatches the phone before out of his hands before speeding away with it.

Detective Constable David Harrigan from the City of London Police said:

“We have yet to have a victim report this stolen phone and we would encourage them, or anyone else who noticed this moped, to get in touch if they think they may be able to assist our investigation.

“Sadly, phone thieves on mopeds do operate within the City and we would urge people to avoid putting their phones on display whenever possible, and to consider using a hands-free device to make a call.”

If you see any suspicious activity or have any information about anyone involved in this crime, contact City of London Police on 020 7601 2999 or on Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always call 999.

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