Police chase video shows Highbury moped mugger driving through busy market after stealing 21 phones in AN HOUR
- Credit: Archant
This dramatic police chase footage shows an audacious moped mugger from Highbury tearing through a bustling market after snatching 21 phones in an hour.
Rampaging thug Cavell Hutson narrowly avoided hitting dozens of shoppers and was arrested minutes later after fleeing into the Kingsland Shopping Centre in Dalston.
The 21-year-old, of Highbury New Park, was jailed on Monday for the phone-snatching blitz across five boroughs on September 3.
A Met helicopter captured the terrifying 20-minute pursuit on camera. Hutson and his accomplice – who is still at large – can be seen weaving through crowds in Ridley Road Market as people jump out of the way.
Hutson pleaded guilty to all 21 thefts when he appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court on Monday. He also admitted dangerous driving and was jailed for a combined 40 months,
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Det Ch Insp Steve Heatley, of Islington police, said Hutson had “no concept of public safety” as he attempted his getaway.
He told the Gazette: “They were driving so fast through the shopping area, but luckily no one was hit.
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“They abandoned the moped and made off in different directions but he didn’t get too far.”
Hutson and his partner in crime had stolen 10 phones from Camden, five from Westminster, three from Islington, two from Hackney and one from Tower Hamlets.
The devices have all since been returned to their owners.
The Gazette reported in June that Islington police were dealing with 50 phone snatches a week, and Det Ch Insp Heatley said there was no pattern or hotspots because the culprits, who are mostly teenagers, don’t even care about their own safety.
“It can happen whenever and wherever,” he said.
“It tends to be where there’s more footfall because there’s more people and more phones, but they will mount pavements too.
“The crime is quite easy to commit, no matter what we do.”
Hutson received 32 months for the phone snatches, eight months for dangerous driving and a £700 fine for breaching his Criminal Behaviour Order.
Despite being satisfied with Hutson’s sentence, Det Ch Insp Heatley also called for the courts to get tougher on youths who commit multiple offences.
He said: “This was an excellent result, which has seen a perpetrator of an audacious crime, which not only endangered members of the public but himself and his accomplice, receive a robust jail sentence.
“These criminals are often involved in a range of other offences. When we catch them we seek to bring far more serious charges against them, which reflect the organised nature of their crimes and ensure the sentencing powers available reflect the seriousness of the offending.”
Operation Attrition was set up in April specifically to deal with moped thefts across Camden, Islington and the City.
The Gazette understands there are a group of about 20 culprits who commit the snatches across the region.
Police say they often dress all in black making it hard for them to be identified and unless they are caught, like Hutson, it is hard to charge them with theft, meaning they usually face the lesser charge of handling stolen goods.
They cannot be charged with robbery, which would carry a much longer sentence, unless there is any violence involved.
Det Ch Insp Heatley also reiterated his calls for people to be vigilant when using phones by stepping away from the kerb or turning their back on the road.