Gone in a flash! Shocking video shows London grab-and-go phone thieves in action

Video from City of London Police shows a phone being snatched by a thief of a bike

Shocking new video shows how brazen bike-riding thieves are snatching phones so quickly their victims barely know what's happened.

One man waiting at a bus stop hardly reacts as a thief on a push bike speeds past on the pavement, grabbing the phone and speeding off in a matter of seconds.

City of London Police released the footage to warn people of the dangers of using phones in public.

In a second clip a cyclist rides up behind a City worker and grabs the phone from his hand as he walks along texting.

With phone theft a growing problem in the capital, City of London Police has tackled the problem with series of initiatives, including:

  • 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

Last month, there were 36 phone snatches compared to 143 in July last year, a 75 per cent reduction in this type of street theft in the City of London.

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.

One of the way police have cracked down on criminals is by introducing bike patrols.

"I think what we've got as a deterrent is working, we have a square mile of the City of London to police," said Detective Superintendent Jim Halkett from City of London Police.

"We do use wider tactics and work with the Met Police to disrupt offenders.

"It's a team game and a multitude of proactive tactics and covert tactics."

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