Police warn: moped muggers want your iPhone

Photo: Gary Knight

Islington police have warned locals to look after their smartphones after a recent increase in thefts carried out by muggers on mopeds and bicycles.

Police say thieves are operating across Islington, swiping phones from people’s hands as they walk down the street and using their vehicles to make a quick getaway.

PC Graham Burke, of Bunhill’s Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “The most vulnerable areas are congested roads which are easy for mopeds to travel through, but difficult for cars, so police have trouble following them.

“Recently we’ve had a huge spate of this style of theft.”

He identified Old Street, City Road, and Goswell Road as “hotspots” for the crime.

“Smartphone theft is one hundred percent opportunistic”

PC Burke added: “These new handsets are worth £600 to £700. You wouldn’t walk around holding that much cash out.

“They can be sold on for “£100 to £150, no questions asked, for 30 seconds of work.”

Smartphone theft is 100 per cent opportunistic. People used to be robbed at knifepoint. These days they have no interest in confronting you.”

He explained that smartphone theft increased this September because the release of the iPhone 7 coincided with the influx of new students at City, University of London.