March 16 2014 Latest news:
by Jon Dean
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
As the number of phone snatches hits around 27 cases a week in Islington, one man has spoken of his ordeal at the hands of the robbers.
Domminik Chapman, 23, was walking along Old Street in Finsbury on March 14 when a crook cycled past him on a push bike, snatched his iPhone out of his hand and pedalled away.
Despite Mr Chapman running full pelt after him, the criminal got away, leaving him out of breath and phoneless.
The number of phone snatches is increasing steadily in the borough and police warn the problem is now widespread across Islington, rather than being isolated to busy areas like Upper Street and Essex Road.
Mr Chapman, a student from Balham, said: “I had my head phones in whilst I was walking so I didn’t hear him cycle up behind me.
“Everything happened quite fast – one guy knocked me and grabbed my phone out of my hand then cycled off and then two more guys followed him.
“When it first happened I was pretty shocked – I thought someone I knew was just kidding around. Then about five seconds later I realised it wasn’t a joke and someone had actually just stolen my phone.
“My instant feeling was anger and a bit of panic about what I was going to do.
“Then I realised I was chasing after them. There were quite a few people around and I kept yelling ‘stop them they’ve got my phone’ but no one did anything, which made me more angry and determined to try to catch them. “It was a pretty big shock that they did something so blatant on a busy street when it was still quite early.
‘‘I’ll admit I’m still a little twitchy when I hear a bike behind me now.”
Police are warning people not to get their phones out when walking along the street.
n To see the full video of Mr Chapman’s ordeal, visit www.islingtongazette.co.uk