I never expected it to happen in London, but this weekend we were robbed in broad daylight by a black moped! My husband and I were standing outside Aldgate House, around the corner from Aldgate Station on Whitechapel High Street, looking at Google Maps on our iPhone 6. Out of nowhere, two guys dressed in black drove up onto the pavement in their black moped and stole the phone right out of our hands.
It all happened so quickly we didn’t have time to react. We watched them drive away and they didn’t even have a number plate that we could take down. It was just after 6pm on Saturday, 9 July and it ruined our day.
We went straight to the City of London police station by Liverpool Street, where we met six other victims who had also had their phones stolen in the same way. One victim had been robbed outside the RBS building on Bishopsgate, and two American ladies had their phones taken from them near Shoreditch High Street. The value of all the attacks we estimated to be over £3000.
More saddening than the theft was the response by police. The police told us that this happens all the time in the area and that the thieves never have a license plate. We waited 75 minutes to make a statement, because the police were overwhelmed with the number of cases they had to log. We were second in the queue and the statement simply involved providing our address, contact details, and filling in the gaps on their pre-populated theft form with the details peculiar to our case. What should be a fairly quick task seemed to take an inordinately long time and the police on duty struggled with it.
Surprisingly, the police are very under confident in their own abilities. They asked us, in the “highly unlikely” event the perpetrator was caught, would we be willing to testify?
Why is it highly unlikely?
My first question is, if this sort of thing happens all the time why are there no public notices or warnings in the area? Secondly, with the prevalence of CCTV cameras in the City of London (they are literally everywhere), and more than 6 witness testimonies confirming the description, time and place of the attacks, why can’t they track and chase the thieves? When there are so many victims it can be considered organised crime and the police response should have been better. Instead they spent more time fretting over taking down statements.
If you know any information that can help us find the criminals, please speak up. We do not have insurance and would really like to get our phone back.
There were two guys on the moped and they were young, in their late teens to mid twenties, and had white skin. They were both dressed in black biker jackets with black trousers and black helmets. The moped was a small, older model and black. They drove the moped up onto the pavement where the second passenger grabbed the phone.
The frustrating thing is that all the iPhone’s they have stolen will be useless. Once you report your details with Apple they will not be able to unlock, use or sell the phones.