King’s Cross station thief sentenced

A prolific thief who stole more than �2,000 of belongings from passengers at train stations including King’s Cross has been handed a five-year antisocial behaviour order (ASBO).

Antony Hinton’s sentencing at Blackfriars Crown Court followed a British Transport Police (BTP) investigation into a total of 14 thefts, five of which took place at King’s Cross and the remainder at Paddington.

BTP’s Det Con David Graney, investigating officer, said that on each occasion Hinton would target passengers seated on board trains waiting to leave the station: “Hinton’s victims of choice were often men who had left their jackets either on the seat hooks or in the overhead racks.

“Typically, Hinton would board the stationary train before discreetly removing his victim’s wallets and then calmly walking off back onto the station concourse.”

Along the way Hinton stole several wallets, containing cash and bank cards, as well as a woman’s handbag worth �800. The stolen items had a collective value of around �2,000 and six of the thefts took place within a single month.

Detectives reviewed CCTV after every theft and were able to place Hinton at the scene of each crime – and BTP officers spotted him while carrying out patrols at Paddington station and arrested him. He had stolen someone’s card holder only three hours earlier.

He gave no comment when questioned but later pleaded guilty to 14 thefts at a court hearing in April.

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Det Con Graney said: “Hinton is a prolific and persistent thief, known to police over a number of years, causing misery and inconvenience to many people in order to feed his drug addiction.

“We welcome the court’s sentence and I hope it serves as a clear warning to others that BTP will arrest and prosecute those who think they can help themselves to other people’s property.”

BTP’s Detective Constable David Graney, investigating officer, said that on each occasion Hinton would target passengers seated on board trains waiting to leave the station:

Hinton’s ASBO prohibits him from entering or alighting from any underground service at Paddington and King’s Cross stations other than to attend a pre-arranged court appointment or review.

He also received a two-year community order and a 12-month residential drug rehabilitation programme.

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