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Two-year sentence for smartphone robber

JAILED: Two-year sentence for smartphone robber, Efe Idiahoke, 17, (pictured)

A PROLIFIC teenage robber responsible for 18 smartphone snatches at Brixton rail station has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Efe Idiahoke, 17, who plead guilty to four counts of robbery, two counts of attempted robbery and two counts of theft, was handed down his sentence after appearing at Inner London Crown Court last week Friday.

During the teen's hearing it was heard that between November last year and February, Idiahoke boarded trains at Herne Hill rail station in south London and stalked train carriages on the lookout for 'distracted passengers' who were using their iPhones and other smartphones.

Using digitally-enhanced CCTV images police traced the crimes back to the teen and arrested him over the string of thefts on February 10.

When questioned by detectives, Idiahoke admitted to each offence, adding that he pawned the phones to shops in Brixton for roughly £150 each.

Detective Sergeant, Steve Maguire, of the British Transport Robbery Squad, said: “Initially it was difficult to identify a suspect from the CCTV images, but digital-enhancement of the images allowed us to confirm Idiahoke as being responsible for all 18 offences."

He added: “Distracted passengers using highly-valuable phones proved opportune targets for Idiahoke, with many victims left distressed and shaken by the ordeal, and we welcome the prison sentence handed down to him."

Following the sentencing, police are now advising passengers to be more aware of their surroundings when using mobile phones in public.

DS Maguire added: "We aren’t asking people to stop using their mobile phones, but to be more aware of their surroundings when using these high-tech devices in public as this will help greatly reduce their chance of becoming a victim of crime."

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