Two men involved in the theft of motorcycles and street muggings of expensive jewellery have received sentences totalling over 15 years.
Two bike thieves caught on video attempting to steal a £40,000 Ducati motorbike from London’s Soho Square have received prison sentences of more than 15 years. Thomas McDermott, 24, of Kilburn Lane, London W10 was sentenced to 12 years and six months’ imprisonment for conspiracy to commit robbery, seven counts of theft and two counts of the attempted theft of motorcycles. Co-offender Hisham Tawfik, 20, of Beethoven Street, London W10 was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for seven counts of theft and two counts of the attempted theft of motorcycles.
The court heard that the pair would scout motorcycle bays and other locations where high-value machines were parked. They would then change into motorcycle gear with face coverings before Tawfkik would drive McDermott on a high-powered vehicle of their own to one of the machines. One of the pair would break the steering lock and steer the stolen bike as the other pushed from behind on the other vehicle to take it away.
During the Soho Square attempted robbery in December 2016, the pair threatened members of the public with knives and angle grinders when witnesses tried to stop them from stealing a bike. Police, enquiries in the moped-enabled robbery investigation led police to McDermott and Fitzgerald.
Tawfik was arrested three months after the robbery. Fitzgerald was later arrested at an address in West London, where he was found in possession of a bag containing clothing worn by himself and McDermott during the robberies. McDermott was arrested six weeks later.
As well as the attempted Ducati theft, which was thwarted by quick-acting members of the public, McDermott was also involved in knifepoint robberies of expensive Rolex watches. Along with George Fitzgerald, 17, of Goresbrook Road, Dagenham, McDermott used a stolen motorcycle to rob two members of the public in Chelsea, London. Fitzgerald was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for five counts of robbery.
The Met officer who led the investigation, DC Russell Farmer, of Westminster Crime Squad, said: “We hope today’s sentencing serves as some deterrent to those intent on committing moped-enabled offences that the Met will find them and bring them to justice.”