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Phone snatcher had 22 phones in bag when caught

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Sonny Stringer

A serial phone snatcher was found with a bag containing 22 mobiles when he was caught by police.

Sonny Stringer, 28, from Islington, pleaded guilty to ten thefts and also to driving dangerously and without insurance when he appeared at Isleworth Crown Court on Tuesday (June 4).

Officers stopped Stringer and an unknown accomplice as they rode into central London on electric motorbikes on March 26.

One woman was standing on Blackfriars Bridge when she had her iPhone 15 snatched at 11.15am.

Control Officer Lynn Newins, who has worked in the City of London Police control room for two years, said the suspects were seen on camera and members of the public had to “avoid being hit by them”.

In Fetter Lane, the pair evaded a marked police car and sped past a pedestrian crossing at almost 50mph.

Stringer then overtook a stationary bus and turned sharply in front of the bus to mount the pavement.

CCTV released shows that Stringer was about to mount the pavement into the direction of a family pushing a buggy.

He then left the bike to try and run away, but he fell to his knees when PC Joe Little drew his Taser.

Stringer then threw a black Faraday bag away from the officers, which was found to have 22 mobile phones – and a further two phones were dropped during the arrest.

It was found that he was linked to many other thefts in the area, such as a woman who was using a map application on her phone and had her phone stolen in Baker Street at 10.15am.

Another woman walking towards Marble Arch at 10.30am in Edgware Road had her phone taken.

And one man reported that the suspect had a knife when his phone was stolen in Cromwell Place.

Stringer received an interim driving ban at Isleworth Crown Court on Tuesday, and will be sentenced on August 8.

Ch Supt Rob Atkin said: “The successful capture and prosecution of a prolific phone snatcher shows City of London Police’s focus on detecting and bringing to justice those who steal from people on our streets.

“This was a team effort from our control team following the criminals on CCTV and communicating with officers on the ground, to response officers making risk-critical decisions to protect the public and effect an arrest.”

-Joseph Reaidi

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