Moment officer rams phone thief off e-bike after 24 phones stolen in London in just one hour

5 June 2024, 15:11

PC Smith, who is trained in tactical pursuit & containment (TPAC), took the decision to make contact with the e-bike.
PC Smith, who is trained in tactical pursuit & containment (TPAC), took the decision to make contact with the e-bike. Picture: City of London police

By Emma Soteriou

A London police officer took down a phone thief as he fled through the city on an e-bike after snatching 24 phones.

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Traffic cop Jordan Smith, 25, was forced to make a snap decision when the thief fled on a high-speed electric motorbike - almost hitting a mother and child walking on the pavement.

He caught the bike with his car and took out the mugger - later finding out he had stolen 24 devices in the space of an hour.

"Thieves on e-bikes will do anything to evade detection and arrest," PC Smith told the Daily Mail.

"And if that means endangering members of the public, then that's exactly what they'll do.

"When my partner and I first saw Stringer, he was coming round a bus and was about to mount the pavement where there was a mother holding the hand of a young child and pushing a pram.

"Those bikes can go as fast as 70mph and they're a fair old weight, so if he'd hit the mother and her children, he could have killed or seriously injured them.

"I had to make an instant decision - but I knew immediately that it was the right thing to do."

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Sonny Stringer, 28, from Islington, pleaded guilty to 10 thefts, dangerous driving and driving without insurance, City of London Police said.

He received an interim driving ban at Isleworth Crown Court on Tuesday, and will be sentenced on August 8, the force added.

Stringer and an unknown accomplice rode into the City at speed on electric motorbikes on March 26, before snatching an iPhone 15 from a woman's hand on Blackfriars Bridge at around 11.15am.

Control officer Lynn Newins said: "I took a call from a member of the public who had witnessed a phone snatching on the south side of Blackfriars Bridge.

"I remember saying that they were going like the clappers and could see members of the public having to avoid being hit by them.

"I sadly speak to lots of victims of phone snatchers and the loss of their phone is devastating to them. People have their worlds on their phones and it isn't a minor crime to them."

When Stringer was forced off his bike and attempted to run away, officers pulled a Taser and were able to restrain him, the force said.

His bag was found to contain 22 phones, with two having been dropped when police struck his bike.

Chief Superintendent Rob Atkin said: "The successful capture and prosecution of a prolific phone snatcher shows City of London Police's focus on detecting and bringing to justice those who steal from people on our streets.

"This was a team effort from our control team following the criminals on CCTV and communicating with officers on the ground, to response officers making risk-critical decisions to protect the public and effect an arrest."

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