Jon Jon Halls, 20, of Upper Street, Islington, had planned and prepared numerous phone thefts which increased in their aggravated features.

On 27 April 2023, Halls, on a bike, collided with a member of the public on Shoreditch High Street and a number of phones fell on the ground. Mr Choudhury, who witnessed the collision, gave chase and was assaulted by Halls.

Inspector Dan Green, of the Proactive Crime Team at the City of London Police, said:

“This was great collaborative work between the City of London Police and Metropolitan Police Service to bring Halls to justice. I’m sure his arrest has had a significant impact on the snatch offences committed in the last 6 months. Four phones were recovered from victims Halls had targeted in the City. All have been returned to their owners.

“If you come to the City with the intention of stealing mobile phones you will receive a robust response as we work hard to bring you to justice. We will relentlessly target those who offend in the City and those who dispose of stolen phones.

“Should you be a victim of, or witness, a phone snatching, call 999 immediately.”

In July this year, there were 36 phone snatches compared to 143 in July last year, a 75 percent reduction in this type of street theft. The summer months have traditionally seen an increase in the number of phone snatches and July 2022 saw the most of any month recorded last year.

City of London Police activity includes:

Spraying criminals and their mopeds with a DNA spray in a bid to link them to crimes if they race away;
Increased arrests by pursuing suspects, bring them to justice and returning phones to their owners.
Raiding shop owners suspected of buying stolen handsets; and
A new cycle team has been set up to help tackle phone snatchers, as well as other offences.
Police Staff Investigator for the Metropolitan Police Service, Andrew McGuire said:

“The conviction of Jon Jon Halls, following a successful investigation by the Violent Crime Task Force with valuable assistance by City of London Police Inspector Dan Green and his colleagues, is a statement to all those who commit violent crime that they will be arrested and convicted.

“High praise should be given to Mr Choudhury, who initially tackled Halls and was assaulted for his troubles. His heroic actions led to the recovery of a large number of recently stolen mobile phones and this was noted by His Lordship on the day of sentence at the Central Criminal Court.”

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