Police say jailing 12-strong gang has helped cut moped crime in half

Will Metcalfe
Contributor

A brazen moped gang has been jailed for a string of bold "professional, planned and organised" high profile raids across London.

Police claim taking the gang off the streets has helped cut moped crime in the capital by 52% in the space of a year.

Among the "bold" crimes committed by the gang between July 2017 and June 2018 was the theft of BBC camera equipment filming the Oxford versus Cambridge boat race.

(Top row left to right) John McFadyen, Aaron Pask, Issac McFadyen and Joshua Strong-Myers. (Middle Row left to right) Mitchell Leaver, Kian Taylor, Omar Tafat and Ram Monk. (Bottom row left to right) Scott Leaver, Ryan Moran, Steven Weller and Terry Marsh. They are all part of a moped gang who have been jailed for a string of bold "professional, planned and organised" high profile raids across London. (PA)

Judge Georgina Kent said the gang carried out its crime spree described as an "exceptionally serious and shocking attempted robbery" four gang members were caught on CCTV targeting a woman with a young child in daylight in Sandpits Road in Richmond.

CCTV video grab issued by the Metropolitan Police of a moped gang during a Kensington High Street ram raid, the gang have been jailed for a string of bold "professional, planned and organised" high profile raids across London. (PA)

Pheobe Ruele was walking hand-in-hand with her son when two motorcycles road past, pulled into the road and waited for her on June 21 last year.

Footage shows the "terrified" woman dragging her child into the road before builders, armed with scaffolding poles, chase the gang away,.

The defendants, who are aged between 19 and 36, also used their mopeds to block traffic before taking an angle grinder to cameras rigged up to capture the boat race on March 22 last year - eventually making off with a BBC camera worth around £180,000.

CCTV video grab issued by the Metropolitan Police of a moped gang during a Kensington High Street ram raid, the gang have been jailed for a string of bold "professional, planned and organised" high profile raids across London. (PA)

The gang, who were all linked to ringleader Terry Marsh, 32, were sentenced for offences including conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to burgle,conspiracy to steal, criminal damage and handling stolen goods.

The gang first came to police attention on December 31 2017 when they carried out a ram-raid on high-end outdoor clothing company Altimus Ltd in High Street Kensington using a stolen Range Rover and several mopeds.

They returned the following month and assaulted a security guard, the two raids cost the business £43,000 in lost goods, and £80,000 in repairs.

In April they raided three businesses stealing electronic equipment - and taking £83,000 of MacBooks and other Apple products from one firm alone.

Exterior of Kingston Crown Court. (Kingston-upon-Thames)

Detectives said the gang managed to carry out a number of raids without leaving any DNA evidence, forcing police to analyse huge volumes of mobile phone data to link the defendants and the offences.

Marsh alone had three handsets and 20 different SIM cards in a bid to avoid being tracked down by mobile phone data.

Following the arrest of Tafat, Myers and Taylor in May, five more gang members were arrested in July last year, with the remaining defendants caught after evidence seized from their fellow conspirators was analysed.

Tafat, 22, of Fulham, was jailed for a eight years and five months for conspiracy to steal, attempted robbery, theft and attempted theft of BBC cameras, going equipped to steal, criminal damage to a police car and breach of a criminal behaviour order.

Myers, 19, of Shepherds Bush, was sentenced to eight years in a young offenders institution and disqualified from driving.

Read more from Yahoo News UK:

Motorists pull passengers from burning plane wreckage

Tories in FIFTH place according to EU elections poll

Transgender Lotto winner dies 18 months after £4m win

He pleaded guilty to attempted theft, going equipped to steal, criminal damage to a police car, dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified, possession of an offensive weapon and conspiracy to steal.

He was also found guilty of two further counts of robbery and possession of an offensive weapon at trial.

Taylor, of no fixed address, admitted attempted theft, going equipped to steal, criminal damage to a police car, dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified and possession of an offensive weapon, and was found guilty of robbery after trial.

He was sentenced to nine years and four months at a young offenders institution and given a driving disqualification.

Exterior of Kingston Crown Court.

Steven Weller, 36, of Ealing, was given consecutive sentences of 49 months for conspiracy to rob, four month for conspiracy to steal and 26 months for conspiracy to burgle, and was sentenced to a total of six years and seven months.

The court heard Marsh was "supremely organised and diligent" in rotating the sim cards in the telephones he used and was "the common denominator in the crime spree".

Marsh, of Fulham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to burgle.

The 32-year-old was jailed for 13 years and two months. He was given consecutive sentences of 54 months for conspiracy to rob, 48 months for conspiracy to steal and 56 months for conspiracy to burgle.

After admitting a series of offences, Moran, 36, of Fulham, was give concurrent suspended sentences of two months for conspiracy to steal, 24 months for conspiracy to burgle and a month for handling stolen goods.

He was given a total sentence of 24 months, suspended for 18 months with a six-month curfew.

John McFadyen, 24, of Feltham, was jailed for 32 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to rob, while his brother Isaac, 19, admitted conspiracy to rob was sentenced to 32 months in a young offenders institution.

Mitchell Leaver, 18 of Battersea, was given a 12-month suspended sentence and and a three-month curfew after admitting conspiracy to burgle.

Scott Leaver, 25, of Lambeth, was sentenced to 56 months' imprisonment after being found guilty of the same charge after trial.

Aaron Pask, 27, of White City, to a total of six years and eight months after his convictions for conspiracy to burgle, conspiracy to steal and burglary.

Ram Monk, 23, of no fixed address, was sentenced to two years and eight months after being found guilty of conspiracy to burgle.