Proactive Flying Squad officers intercept watch robbers following violent attack in the West End.
The Flying Squad caught the group during a proactive operation to target criminals following a spate of watch robberies in the west end area, jointly with the Westminster Robbery Squad.
They were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday, 20 April for attempted robbery as follows:
Abukar Aligas, 23 (02.03.00) of Holland Road, Brent, Mahamud Gudal, 22 (31.12.00) of no fixed address and Abdikafi Omar, 21 (12.03.01) of Buchanan Gardens, Brent were all sentenced to two years, suspended for two years.
Zakaria Mohammed, 22 (11.06.00) of Leghorn Road, Brent was sentenced to 2 years and 12 weeks in custody
On Friday, 12 August, at around 02:00hrs a 29-year-old man left a bar in Berkley Square after an evening with his friend and got in a taxi to head home.
Unbeknownst to him, the four men were following him close behind in a separate car after they noticed he was wearing a watch worth £2,000.
The Flying Squad had been monitoring the group’s movements from around 01:00hrs, earlier on in the evening, as they were acting suspiciously in the area. This behaviour matched that of those who had been involved in recent high value watch robberies that the Westminster Robbery Squad and the Flying Squad had investigated.
Once both vehicles drove off from the bar, the team of Flying Squad officers followed and continued to watch the group of men.
The victim got out of the taxi at 02:20hrs when he arrived home.
When the taxi left, the victim was grabbed around his neck and put in a chokehold. He was then violently dragged and pulled to the ground.
One of the men then grabbed the victim’s wrist in an attempt to take and steal his watch, but could not work out how to detach the clasp.
They made off after a few minutes and the Flying Squad officers followed.
The suspects were all detained and arrested for attempted robbery shortly after the attack on the victim took place.
Detective Sergeant Gary Taylor who led the investigation and the proactive operation to target the spate of thefts, said: “I am proud that the proactive work my team does, as demonstrated in this case, resulted in the arrests and the sentencing of these four individuals.
“We are doing everything in our power to ensure London’s streets are safer and that criminals like these are brought to justice. We remain committed to tackling robbery in all its forms.”
Anyone who sees a robbery taking place or who has just been robbed should call 999 immediately. We would also encourage people to:
Stay aware of your surroundings and pay attention to who is around you.
Keep valuables such as mobile phones, watches and cash out of sight.
Plan your route home.
More advice can be found at: https://www.met.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/protect-yourself-from-crime/mugging-street-robbery