Jailed: Highbury phone thief who fled wrong way down M11 at 90mph
- Credit: Archant
A moped-riding phone snatcher who tried to get away from police by driving down the motorway the wrong way at 90mph is behind bars.
Zuriel Hutson, 21, and his partner in crime Sharuk Sheraji, 22, were jailed on Friday at Isleworth Crown Court.
They had both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and breach of a criminal behaviour order, while Hutson also admitted dangerous driving.
On November 26 the pair had gone around on a stolen moped, driven by Hutson, and stolen 18 mobile phones from people on the streets of Westminster, Camden, Islington, Hackney and Tower Hamlets.
With police hot on their tail, Sheraji jumped off and was caught with the 18 devices, but Hutson attempted an audacious escape on the north circular while being followed by a police helicopter.
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He then weaved in and out of oncoming traffic on the M11 at 90mph, causing minor collisions, before crashing himself and skidding along the motorway.
He got back up and tried to carry on riding down the hard shoulder but was stopped in his tracks by a “stinger” police had placed ahead of him, flattening his tyre. He tried to escape on foot but didn’t get far.
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Det Ch Insp Steve Heatley said: “This was a good result, which has seen two perpetrators of audacious thefts receive a robust judicial outcome with time in jail. The convictions and sentences should send out a strong message that such incidents will be dealt with robustly by the Met and the courts.
“Both defendants, Hutson in particular, could have caused serious injury to the victims, the public, other motorists and themselves, in their callous execution of their crimes and attempts to evade justice. They had no regard for anyone but themselves.
“These offenders relied on the unwariness of the public to snatch their phones whilst they made calls so it is imperative that the public are aware of their surroundings at all times and keep their phones secure at all times as this crime happens in an instant.”
Hutson, of Crowfield House, Highbury New Park, was jailed for two and a half years. His twin brother Cavell is already serving time for his own audacious crime spree, stealing 21 phones in an hour last year before weaving through shoppers in Ridley Road in an unsuccessful bid to escape police.
Sheraji, of Sebastion House, Hoxton Street, was jailed for two years.
The Met’s dedicated team targeting moped crime Operation Attrition has returned 17 of the 18 phones to their owners.