Scooter-riding robbers jailed for snatching 72 phones in six weeks

Two scooter-riding robbers who stole phones from 72 pedestrians in the space of just six weeks have been jailed.

Randy Kavungu and Darius James would typically strike between 7am and 9am, preying on commuters heading to work in central and north London.

One would zoom up behind the victim before the other – riding as a pillion passenger – would snatch the phone out of their hand.

On one occasion, a victim had coffee thrown in their face while another had their finger broken during a struggle.

The pair also threatened a witness with a hammer following one theft.

After they admitted robbery and were jailed for four-and-a-half years each.

Detective Inspector Alan Biggs, of the Met Police, said: ‘Kavungu and James set out with a pre-agreed plan to steal the phones of as many people as they could, using a moped to target lone victims in open spaces.

‘They had no regard for the harm they could have caused by their dangerous driving and it is only by extreme fortune that no-one was more seriously injured.’

Darius James (inset, top) and Randy Kavungu ride on pavement to target victim (Pictures: Met Police)

Kavungu, 21, and James, 22, used the same black Beverly ST350 scooter in all the robberies.

The duo covered up the number plate each time to make it harder for police to identify them.

But officers tracked them down and arrested them in raids at their homes on July 14, 2021.

At Kavungu’s address, officers found the blue Nike jacket and black Spada helmet that had been captured on CCTV footage of the robberies.

The robbers target another victim

Duo strike again, exploiting broad, near-deserted pavement to sneak up on woman (Picture: Met Police)

And at James’s home they discovered a black padded jacket matching that worn by one of the thieves on several occasions.

At Hendon magistrates’ court, Kavungu, of Islington, and James, of Barnet, also admitted making threats with an offensive weapon.

Det Insp Biggs added: ‘We were determined to catch these two suspects who were causing so much harm within our city.

‘Our investigation involved examining hundreds of hours of CCTV as well as complex mobile phone analysis and we are pleased this means they will now be off our streets and unable to commit further offences for a long time.’

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