Two teenagers who went on a terrifying two-week crime spree across east London in October and November last year have been jailed.
John Smith and Shemar Williams, both 16 and both living in E7 took to their mopeds and committed 34 crimes across Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
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In one shocking crime, caught on CCTV, the pair block the path of a moped and threaten the rider with a lump hammer until he gives up in bike. In others they stole bags from women on mopeds after trailing them on their own vehicles.
Smith and Williams either carried a knife or a hammer and one of their 34 victims was hospitalised. So prolific and terrifying was the night-time spree that a special police unit drawing on officers from the target boroughs set up to catch them.
The boys both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob at an earlier hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court. Smith was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment with a further two years on licence when released.
Williams was sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment and was further sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment consecutively for two separate knife-point robberies.
The judge lifted reporting restrictions so the boys could be identified.
Det Supt Raffaele D’Orsi, lead on Operation Venice, the Met’s response to moped-enabled crime, said: “I want to commend my colleagues from the borough who secured this successful conviction.
“Their work in this case has led to two dangerous individuals being taken off the streets; ultimately stopping them from committing more offences and causing serious injury to potential victims.
“This is a great example of how Operation Venice is committed to bringing offenders to justice and keeping London’s streets safe.”