Laptop theft from cafe Stroud Green Road

I just heard that there was a laptop theft by moped thieves from a cafe in Stroud Green Road the other day. Woman was sitting in the window with a laptop in view - biker came in, helmet on, threatened her with a hammer and got away with the laptop in seconds.

Never sit in the window with a laptop.

I'm not identifying the cafe. Not their fault.

It's the new Dark Ages.


  • BBC: This year, across London, there have been more than 17,000 moped crimes. The average age of the perpetrators is 15.
  • Was that not the one in Archway?
  • Probably better to fight back rather then being too scared to sit by a window or thinking it's the new dark ages.
  • If everyone carried a hammer, then this sort of thing wouldn't happen.
  • Seems like a perversion of the venerable advice of Pete Seeger.
  • @HolbornFox You: having a nice coffee, scratching your nose and checking your emails. Him: pumped-up 16 year old with a helmet on and carrying a claw hammer. Good luck with that.
  • You better hope you never end up on Battle Royale.
  • "The only thing to stop a bad man with a hammer is a good man with a hammer!" I shall carry mine about at all times now. That is a disturbing story though.
    I did read once that a hammer was the best piece of kit for self-defence, for a man or woman. No skill needed, close range effectiveness, and you'll do some damage whatever you hit.
  • Attempted theft reported at Bar Esteban last night - guy on a scooter with a hammer. They fought him off with chairs.

  • Been quite a few scooter thefts from cafes in Crouch End recently
  • Phil Mitchell gloriously taking out Hammer Wielding Scooter Guy with a bar stool, life imitating art.
  • Carry a couple of nails around, if approached by man with hammer ask if he needs a nail to go with that. Runaway as confusion seeps in.

    Someone else can try this first, please.
  • On a more serious note, these scooter rats are becoming increasingly brazen.
  • -noodles--noodles- stroud green road
    agreed papa l. recent stories about acid attacks on food delivery guys breaks my heart. just so kids can steal mopeds.
    the injuries are life changing - seems so utterly futile.
  • It's hideous and a seriously bad trend, I'd say there needs to be a crackdown but I imagine the police are already tearing their hair our trying to deal with it.
  • Thinking this through, I shouldn’t wonder if these guys have a few ‘point men’ or spotters going round on foot looking for likely targets, then phoning them in. Some of these victims can’t be that easy to see from the road from a passing vehicle. If the cops could identify the spotters, they’d be a step ahead. Well, a nice idea. If only.....
  • edited November 2017
    Saw phone snatch outside British Museum just now Swift, silent, deadly. Tourists easy prey. Modern day highway robbery. Don't be like tourist prey - put it away.

    Actually maybe these phone snatches will be a good thing - rid the pavements of dumb f***s walking along looking at their phones instead of actually living their lives.
  • edited December 2017
  • gardener-joe, victim-blaming at all? Where does it end? Can I not wear a branded coat or expensive shoes? Should women not use expensive handbags? If I buy something from an expensive boutique should I get a plain unbranded bag? Are women who go out dressed skimpily and get drunk asking for sexual assault or rape?
  • I wouldn’t wear a branded coat, expensive shoes or carry a Gucci handbag in a Cairo slum or the backstreets of Harare. And I’ve been there. Seems to me that parts of London are being given up to street crime and becoming like the back alleys of some failing dystopia. (If anyone thinks I’m being racist I might add Los Angeles, Naples or maybe Moscow to that list - anywhere where there is a big gap between rich and poor.)

    And I don’t often carry a handbag.
  • edited November 2017
    I had my phone snatched by a couple of people aboard a moped outside Tufnell Park Tube station while I was looking at a map, one of a myriad of things I use my phone for: what's the point of having it if you can't use it?
  • edited November 2017
    @krappyrubsnif when was the last time you went to Napoli? I don't think it's nearly as dangerous as London to be honest when it comes to phone thefts etc. I have never been to Moscow or Los Angeles, but you can easily walk in Napoli without worrying too much about your possession, a thing that you can't really do in London as people keep on stealing phones like there is no tomorrow.

    And i do love this place. I just don't understand why no one is really tackling the problem. And seeing some idiots stealing from cafes with hammers is just unbelievable.
  • London is pretty safe. @krappyrubsnif I'd agree with your reasoning if the gadgets were being stolen exclusively in Chelsea, Hampstead or Mayfair for example. People are being robbed in Finsbury Park and Archway, I've lived round here a long time and don't think there is an enormous gap between rich and poor here.

    These crimes are just an easy way to get money without working for it, the people they are stealing from are probably no richer than the families of the thieves - you can get an iPhone for about £30 a month and they'll chuck a tablet in.

    I have been to LA a few times, no one walks anywhere at all there so you're pretty safe in your car unless you stray into the wrong area.
  • Are the Met not stymied by their moped chase rules?
  • edited November 2017
    The term "victim blaming" is misleading. It makes it sound as if anyone who criticises the actions of a victim is trying to shift the responsibility for the crime—as if it's wrong to consider the behaviour of the victim in promoting the likelihood of (but not the resposibility for) the crime.

    The victim of a crime is no less a victim for acting irresponsibly or failing to take what most people might see as sensible precautions, and the criminal is no less a criminal and no less responsible, however easy or tempting a crime is. Yet common sense and experience motivate us to avoid certain situations, in the hope of lessening the risk of being victims. We have a right to go about unhindered and unmolested, but we recognise that it's naïve and impractical to act as if we expect everyone in our environment to be benign and honest.

    Part of fighting crime is minimising the opportunities for criminals; as a society we haven't discovered how to remove the motivation for crime; crime seems inevitable, so we lock doors and windows, avoid being alone in dark streets, keep our valuables hidden, are less trusting of strangers, etc.—to whatever extent we decide to take these precautions is an indication of how much risk of crime we are willing to take. Sometimes we underestimate the risks or are just unlucky in a place which is usually safer; we have no ready objective measures of risk. What is often described as "victim blaming" might be more accurately seen as a lack of sympathy for a victim who has been less cautious than we believe we would have been had we been in their circumstances. This does not necessarily mean that we fail to empathise with the victim's misfortune or suffering.
  • Scruffy, good post. I was slightly intemperate when I wrote mine. I understand that we should take reasonable precautions, but not using one's mobile phone in public or sitting in a cafe with a laptop seems unreasonable to me, and too great an intrusion into our lives. These are normal things that people do all the time, and to hold people somehow partly responsible for being robbed in those circumstances seems wrong to me.
  • I agree with @therattle: we shouldn't have to live in a constant state of fear and hyerviligence and always expecting the worst from those around us. We're not quite living in an anarchical state - yet!
  • Does the murder in Bethel cafe have anything to do with this?
  • @tosscat No, it was an argument between two people over using a pool table, nothing to do with moped thefts.
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