Watch: CCTV footage shows pickpockets pretending to be drunk to steal phones
Shocking CCTV footage shows two ‘brazen’ pickpockets pretending to be drunk and dancing with victims to steal their phones.
Abdul Boychaala, 30, and Hussen Ehab, 26, mostly preyed on students in Nottingham during their crime spree at the beginning of the year.
The duo would lock legs with their victims forcing them off balance and removing mobile phones from their pockets before walking away.
Distracted by the sudden and seemingly friendly attention, the victims often did not realise their phones were stolen until Boychaala and Ehab had left the scene.
Detectives established a link between the cases and identified the pair after reviewing CCTV images of the incidents.
Boychaala and Ehab, of Radford, were both sentenced to 28 months in jail at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday.
Both men were arrested and pleaded guilty to an offence of conspiracy to steal in relation to seven offences in Nottingham – two in the early hours of 18 January, one on 25 January, three on 31 of January and one on 1 February.
The conspiracy charge also covered another incident in Liverpool on 13 September and several other incidents where victims had initially not reported the thefts.
Detective Constable Richard Evans, who led the investigation, said: “Boychaala and Ehab are brazen and calculating thieves who were led by their own greed and recklessness to commit a string of very serious offences.
“Their preferred method may have appeared clumsy, but it was a finely-honed and effective distraction technique that allowed them to steal many thousands of pounds worth of mobile phones."
Det Cons Evans added: “This offending took place again and again as the pair grew in confidence – convinced that they would continue to get away with what they had been doing.
“But what they hadn’t reckoned on was the determination of Nottinghamshire Police and the very extensive CCTV network that helps to keep people safe in Nottingham city centre.
“By thoroughly reviewing this evidence against witness statements we were able to build such an overwhelming case against these two men that they had little choice but to plead guilty.
“I hope this case serves as a reminder to other similarly minded criminals – that if you come to Nottingham to prey on people enjoying a night out we will catch up with you and you will be punished.”
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