Police hunt for knife-wielding Tube thugs targeting passengers for phones

Anthony France
Police hunt for knife-wielding Tube thugs targeting passengers for phones (BTP)

Knife-wielding “steaming” gangs are terrorising young commuters for their £200 Apple AirPods and mobiles on the transport network.

The muggers have struck at least eight times at rail and Tube stations across London and Essex in the past month.

British Transport Police today released CCTV images of young men they want to speak to in connection with the robberies.

Detective Chief Inspector Sarah White said: “We have seen a concerning amount of robberies across both the London Underground and mainline rail network in London, and we are working tirelessly to catch those responsible.”

The Met want to identify these people (BTP)

A schoolboy, 16, was robbed of his phone and cash by three thugs armed with knives at Seven Sisters at about 4pm on November 9.

Two other 16-year-old boys were held up at knifepoint on a c2c train from Chafford Hundred to Upminster two days earlier at about 8.30pm.

Suspects pinned a 20-year-old up against a wall and punched him in the chest before taking his AirPod wireless earphones at Euston at 8pm on November 6.

A 22-year-old man had his phone stolen on the same day at 12.40pm at White Hart Lane.

A 22-year-old man had his phone stolen on the same day at 12.40pm at White Hart Lane (British Transport Police)

A man aged 20 was ambushed by suspects who stole his AirPods and attempted to take his jacket and bag on the Central line platform at Tottenham Court Road on November 5 at 8pm.

A 20-year-old woman had her phone snatched from her hands as she sat on the Tube at Lancaster Gate on October 29.

More worryingly, a gang threatened to stab a 25-year-old man before stealing his mobile, headphones and watch at 6pm on a southbound Victoria line service from Finsbury Park to Highbury and Islington three days earlier.

A man aged 20 was ambushed by suspects on the Central line (BTP)

A 21-year-old man was punched in the face and had his phone and Oyster card stolen at White Hart Lane on October 6 at about 11.30am.

DCI White said: “We have plainclothes officers operating, and passengers can also expect to see highly visible reassurance patrols.

“Everyone should be aware of their surroundings, particularly in the evenings, and of being discreet and secure when carrying their property.

"Typically, we are seeing things like phones, laptops and AirPod earphones being targeted by groups of young men.

"They will usually approach people travelling on their own, but many of these incidents have still taken place in crowded and busy areas.

“Thankfully we police a CCTV-rich environment which has enabled us to quickly identify a number of suspects and bring them into custody.”

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