Two mobile phone thieves grabbed 21 devices during an hour long snatching spree through London, the Met said. Cavell Hutson, of Islington, north London, was eventually arrested but his accomplice evaded capture.
Huston rode a moped while his partner took phones out of their owner’s hands from the pillion passenger seat.
The 21 year old pleaded guilty to several offences and was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court to more than three years in prison on 3 October.
Hutson, of Highbury New Park, was charged with theft, driving without a licence or insurance, breaching a Criminal Behaviour order.
The pair were tracked by police as they drove through five London boroughs taking mobile phones from unsuspecting pedestrians.
CCTV footage captured the moment the pair grabbed a woman’s phone from her hand as they rode past.
Helicopter footage later shows the pair riding through Kingsland Market in Hackney as people dive out of the way.
The accomplice jumps off the moped and runs off through the market stalls before Hutson abandons the moped and tries to escape on foot before being arrested.
The owners of all 21 of the phones were identified had their property returned.
One, Adam Scholes, 31, He was amazed at the speed with which his phone was stolen.
“I was under a cafe canopy checking the way back to the Tube,” he told the newspaper.
“I had my back to them and it was the slickest most professional thing. It was just ‘bang’ and they were gone. They mounted the kerb but hardly even slowed down.
“It was totally surreal. The speed at which they took the phone was incredible. Even if I reacted they were far too quick.”