Armed officers deployed after more bike robberies
Patrols in the Richmond Park area have been stepped up
The police have confirmed that a teenager was arrested this Tuesday (12 October) in Richmond Park after what was described as a tactic contact.
Officers from Operation Venice, which was set up to tackle robbery, had been deployed in the park and surrounding areas after a spate of muggings.
While on patrol they engaged and pursued a male who was arrested and taken into custody. The motorbike was confirmed as having been stolen.
The following day police charged Maison Fisher, 18, of Morden, with Dangerous Driving, Driving otherwise in accordance with a licence, no insurance and theft of motor vehicle. He is due to appear at Wimbledon Magistrates Court on 28 October.
The police are not at this point linking this arrest with a robbery that took place on Roehampton High Street the previous day shortly after 5pm in which a man in his thirties was assaulted by two males and had his bike stolen. One of the assailants was reported to have a machete as has been described in previous incidents recently in the area. Armed officers were called to the scene as part of the police response.
The victim was taken was taken to hospital as a precaution after he fell from his bike when pushed but he was not seriously injured. Any witnesses are asked to call police on 101 and quote ref CAD 5688/11Oct.
Police are also investigating a report that a man in his fifties was pushed from his bike in Roehampton Lane at around the same time. He was approached by two men on a moped. No injuries were reported.
Picture posted on Twitter purporting to show robbers with stolen bike
This was the latest in a series of similar offences in the vicinity of Richmond Park and officers are urging cyclists to be vigilant.
Chief Superintendent Elisabeth Chapple, responsible for local policing in south-west London, said, "Many people in the area would have seen these reports on social media and will understandably be concerned. I can reassure you that we are doing everything we can to track down those responsible for these terrible crimes.
"Everyone should be able to feel safe when using Richmond Park and that's why I have arranged for additional officers to be in the area over the comings days. They will work alongside our dedicated Royal Parks officers and I would encourage anyone with concerns to approach them, or to call 999 in an emergency."
At around 7pm on Wednesday, 6 October, a man in his thirties reported having his Cannondale bike stolen on Sawyers Hill by two men riding electric scooters. They pushed his from the bike, causing minor injuries before making off towards Richmond Gate.
At 4.01pm on Thursday, 7 October, police were called to reports of a robbery near to the Roehampton Gate entrance. Professional cyclist Alexandar Richardson was approached by four men travelling on two mopeds who pushed him from his bike, causing minor injuries. They threatened him with a machete before taking the bike and riding away from the area. The bike is reportedly valued at £10,000.
Mr Richardson said on Instagram, “Pretty shocking experience today in Richmond Park.
“Was finishing my training around 3pm when two motorbikes with four men and balaclavas started following me. I knew exactly they wanted to take my bike and started to think what the best thing I could do was.
“I turned around at East Sheen roundabout and started riding full speed to the café about 500 metres away. They simply rode one of the motor bikes into me at 60kph.
“I came off the bike and the first motorbike lost control. I held onto my bike however the second motor bike then dragged me and the bike along the floor for another 100 metres."
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 giving the reference 5103/07OCT.
Detective Inspector Gavin Collins, from Operation Venice, the Met's response to moped enabled crime, said: "These incidents would have been incredibly frightening for those involved and I would like to reassure the victims and the public that we are doing everything we can to track down these dangerous individuals.
"I would ask anyone who was in or around the park at the time of any of the incidents to check for any dashcam or cycle helmet footage. This could be key to helping us track down those responsible".
The Met have declined to confirm reports that suspects have been spotted on two occasions in the McDonalds on Putney High Street although locally police officers have been requesting CCTV from businesses in the area.
Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers, anonymously, by calling 0800 555 111.
Moments later, he says, one of the men pulled out a machete which appeared to be around 15 inches long. It was at this point he decided to hand over the bike to his attackers.
“After this they pulled out a 15 inch machete at which point I thought better and let the bike go. I’m pretty cut up and bruised with a swollen hip but tomorrow is another day.”
He added, “Please be careful in the area and note this is becoming a common occurrence in parts of London. The police have taken their notes down as armed robbery and hopefully the criminals are found.
“Please raise awareness. At least I got most of the ride in even if no file to show for it! Once again the wife to the rescue to pick me up.”
Simon Richards, Richmond Park manager, said, “We can confirm two incidents have taken place in Richmond Park which are being investigated and handled by the police.
“Our thoughts are with those involved and we wish them a speedy recovery.
“Please take care and be vigilant when in the park.”
A spokesperson for the Met Police said, “Police were called at 4.01pm on Thursday, 7 October to reports of a robbery in Richmond Park.
“Officers attended and it was reported that a man had been assaulted by a group of men who stole his bike. He did not require hospital treatment.
“They carried out a search of the area but found no trace of the suspects. Officers took an initial statement from the informant. Enquiries continues. No arrests have been made.
“Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting CAD 5103/07Oct. To remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Alexandar Richardson was cut and bruised during the assault. Picture: Instagram/Alexandar Richardson
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October 15, 2021