Islington pick pocket jailed

A professional pick pocket who targeted women on the buses in areas of north London including Islington has received a lengthy jail term.

Jan Binczyk, 43, of no fixed abode, received three years imprisonment at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday, July 8, for 10 pickpocket offences against woman – some as old as 90 – thanks to the Metropolitan Police Service’s (MPS) Safer Transport Command (STC).

Among his crimes was the theft of a woman’s iPod between Angel and Newington Green in July last year, the theft of a purse from a woman who had alighted at Finsbury Park bus garage to find her handbag half unzipped and the item missing, and a purse was also stolen from a woman who had got off the bus at Wedmore Street, Archway.

Binczyk was arrested by the STC for Kensington and Chelsea after a patrol spotted him getting off a bus. He was subsequently charged with five counts of theft and admitted a further five offences which were taken into consideration.

The STC had been collating evidence against him after he was identified from bus CCTV images but proved elusive as he had no fixed abode.

This arrest contributes to Project Spiderweb, an initiative between the MPS, British Transport Police (BTP) and Transport for London (TfL).

Superintendent Paul Stalker, STC, said: “This sentence protects the travelling public from a prolific thief who preyed on them for his living.

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“The three year sentence clearly communicates to the community of London that positive action is being taken to reduce crime on the transport system.”

Steve Burton, director of community safety, enforcement and policing at TfL, said: “This demonstrates the commitment TfL and its policing partners have in ensuring the capital’s transport network remains a safe and low crime environment. Although crime on London’s bus network is low, with only 10.5 crimes per million passenger journeys. We ask customers to always be vigilant and look after their belongings.”

Chief Superintendent Mark Newton, BTP, said: “This is an outstanding sentence for someone who come to the UK with the sole intention of stealing. It sends a clear message that police in London will push for the strongest penalties for those who steal from other passengers on the public transport network.”