Pillion passenger phone thief jailed after Regent’s Canal towpath chase

Oguzcan Dereli

Oguzcan Dereli - Credit: police

A 20-year-old man who roamed the streets on the back of a moped, targeting people to steal their mobile phones, has been jailed.

Oguzcan Dereli, 20, of Macclesfield Court, Central Street, Islington, was the pillion passenger on a blue moped being ridden by a 17-year-old boy in the early hours of June 22.

A Hackney Council CCTV operator alerted police to an attempted phone snatch outside the Rio Cinema in Kingsland High Street, Dalston at 2.07am.

Just four minutes later the operator saw the same moped mount the pavement in Pitfield Street, Hoxton, to attempt to snatch a phone from a pedestrian.

About 15 minutes later Dereli stole a woman’s mobile phone and banks cards as she walked along Ropemaker Street in Finsbury.

By this point the police helicopter had been drafted in and monitored the moped as it drove dangerously across streets and pavements.

Dereli and the driver dismounted in Orwell Court, Haggerston, hid their helmets under a discarded mattress and threw the stolen property into a bush on the Regents Canal towpath.

Most Read

The police helicopter still had them in its sights however, and the driver was arrested hiding in a bush at 2.30am.

Dereli was arrested five minutes later after a foot chase along the towpath.

He pleaded guilty to theft the same day and was sentenced to one year and six months’ imprisonment at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday.

He was also sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, to run concurrently, for two counts of attempted snatch on Kingsland High Street and Pitfield Street,

Det Insp Steve Brownlee said: “Dereli sat on the rear of the moped and targeted victims who had their property on display. This sentence should be a reminder to moped-enabled criminals intending on causing alarm and distress.”