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Axe-wielding moped bandits who terrorised Islington and Camden convicted

PUBLISHED: 18:27 15 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:22 18 February 2019

Custody images (from left) of Miguel St Martin, Aflie Warry, Harry Doyle, Reece Salmon and Henry Histon. Picture: Met Police

Custody images (from left) of Miguel St Martin, Aflie Warry, Harry Doyle, Reece Salmon and Henry Histon. Picture: Met Police

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Four moped bandits who armed themselves with axes, samurai swords and zombie knives before carrying out a spate of phone snatches and robberies in Islington and Camden were convicted at Blackfriars Crown Court today.

A stolen moped being driven in Macclesfield Street Islington. Picture: Met PoliceA stolen moped being driven in Macclesfield Street Islington. Picture: Met Police

Four moped bandits who armed themselves with axes, samurai swords and zombie knives before carrying out a spate of phone snatches and robberies in Islington and Camden were convicted at Blackfriars Crown Court today.

The four men who today pleaded guilty or were found guilty were “big operators in north London” and targeted Boodles jewellery store and luxury fashion store Saint Laurent in the West End last year.

Miguel St Martin, 21, of Argyle Square, Kings Cross, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery in Camden, Islington, Westminster, and the City; and conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary at Saint Laurent. He was found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery at Boodles.

Alfie Warry, 21, of Baldwin Gardens, Camden was found guilty of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary at Saint Laurent.

Stolen mopeds in a garage in Macclesfield Street, Islington. Picture: Met PoliceStolen mopeds in a garage in Macclesfield Street, Islington. Picture: Met Police

Harry Doyle, 18, of Radnor Street, Islington pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery at Boodles jewellery store.

He was also found guilty of grievous bodily harm in relation to the assault of the 48-year-old member of the public;

Reece Salmon, 20, of City Road, Islington pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery in Camden, Islington, Westminster, and the City.

He was found not guilty for conspiracy to commit robbery at Boodles jewellery store.

Helmet and weapons recovered from attempted robbery on Boodles jewellery store Picture: Met PoliceHelmet and weapons recovered from attempted robbery on Boodles jewellery store Picture: Met Police

One man and four teenagers have already been convicted in connection with this gang’s offences across London.

All defendants will be sentenced together at the same court, on a date to be confirmed.

Det Sgt Danny Watts of Operation Vocare, said: “These gang members were big operators in north and central London. However, we secured a number of significant convictions and sentences against them and they have been taken off the streets.”

Operation Vocare was initially set up to target an Islington moped gang that robbed three mobile phone outlets between May and November 2016.

Consequently, 13 members of the gang and three handlers were convicted during trials that took place between August 2017 and October 2018.

In February 2018, Vocare officers discovered a garage in Macclesfield Street, Islington, was being used by other gang members to stash mobiles snatched in Camden, Islington, Westminster, and the City between August 2017 and February 2018.

They raided it and recovered stolen phones, SIM cards from stolen phones, the handle from a broken zombie knife and a replica firearm.

Jewellery store robbery

St Martin, Harry Doyle, 18, Henry Histon, 18, a 16-year-old boy [H] and two other as yet unidentified people attempted to rob Boodles jewellery store, in Sloane Street, SW1, at 11.am on March 26.

Three of the suspects were wielding weapons such as axes and samurai swords when they travelled to the store in a stolen Land Rover Discovery.

Another three were on unregistered mopeds which they had parked in a nearby back street the night before.

They tried, unsuccessfully, to ram the rear doors of the building with the Land Rover, before attempting to smash the doors with sledgehammers.

A 48-year-old have-a-go-hero interceded and grabbed defendant [H] but was attacked by the rest of the gang.

He was stabbed in the back and to hacked at the knee with an axe – but they were non-life threatening injuries and the victim made a full-recovery.

The gang then fled the scene on the mopeds, ditching the Land Rover.

[H] was arrested later that day by Flying Squad officers after he was found hiding in a nearby school.

Officers recovered the mopeds used in the robbery as well as clothing, weapons and a phone used in the offence, which were submitted for forensic analysis.

Det Cons Phelim Redmond, Flying Squad and officer-in-charge for the Boodles robbery, said: “This was a brazen attempt to rob Boodles and a cowardly, vicious attack on an unarmed member of the public who bravely intervened.

“It is by sheer good fortune that having been set upon by four men wielding axes and swords that he did not sustain more serious injuries.

“We are committed to taking every opportunity to divert, disrupt, detect and prosecute those involved in these moped related crimes.”

Saint Laurent heist

St Martin; Alfie Warry, 21; [E] Henry Histon, 18; and an as yet unidentified fourth person, burgled the Saint Laurent Store, Sloane Street at 12.15am on April 24.

They smashed in the door, stole £90,000 worth of handbags and fled on mopeds.

On the same day, Op Vocare officers tracked St Martin to a hotel in Kings Cross. He was arrested on suspicion conspiracy to commit robbery.

In his room a ‘zombie’ knife, four stolen mobile phones, and two Saint Laurent handbags (collectively worth £10,000) were seized.

The discovery of the handbags led officers to investigate the Saint Laurent burglary.

Store CCTV identified clothing worn by the suspects during the burglary - some of which were found in St Martin’s hotel room. CCTV from the hotel, identified further suspects in the offence - namely Warry and Histon. The fourth person is still to be identified.

St Martin was then arrested for the Saint Laurent burglary.

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