Dramatic moment security guard reverses into ‘smash and grab’ moped robbers behind string of raids in London


Ellen ManningSun, 28 March 2021, 5:09 pm

Watch: Moment security guard reverses into moped-riding criminals during raid in London’s West End 0:32 0:39   Moment security guard tries to stop moped-riding criminals from fleeing

This is the moment a security guard reversed into a gang of moped-riding robbers in a bid to stop them making off during an attempted ‘smash and grab’ burglary. 

CCTV footage of the guard’s valiant attempt to stop the gang fleeing was released by police after two career criminals were jailed for a total of 18 years.

Alfie Atherton, 29, and Reed Roberts, 30, stole more than £40,000 in cash and perfume from security vans and designer shops in a string of dramatic raids, bringing chaos to London’s West End and causing tens of thousands of pounds of damage.

Cash in transit robbery on 1 February, 2020.  A pair of
Alfie Atherton, 29, and 30-year-old Reed Roberts brought chaos to London’s West End with a string of burglaries. (SWNS)

In one robbery in January last year, two men on a moped threw a large concrete slab through a window at West End department store Liberty in a ‘smash and grab’ raid.

One of the duo, later identified as Atherton, climbed in and filled a rubble sack with more than £20,000 worth of designer perfume and aftershave.

He was confronted by a store security guard as he dragged the bag towards the moped but produced a large ‘Rambo’ style knife and warned the guard: “Get back or I will stab you!”

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In another robbery on February 1, a cash delivery was about to be made to a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Clerkenwell, central London, when a guard was attacked by a robber who grabbed the cash box and jumped onto a waiting moped which sped off.

The men responsible were later identified as Atherton and Roberts.

Alfie Atherton (left) and Reed Roberts (right) have both been jailed for a total of 18 years. (SWNS)
Alfie Atherton (left) and Reed Roberts (right) have both been jailed for a total of 18 years. (SWNS)

Further police inquiries also linked Atherton to two attempted ‘smash and grab’ raids at designer stores in the West End in the early hours of March 3 last year.

In one, four suspects on three mopeds rammed a front door but couldn’t break through the security shutter so sped off.

In the other, raiders tried to smash a shop’s front window with a concrete block but were forced to flee when a security guard reversed his vehicle into one of the bikes.

Atherton and Roberts were arrested by Met Police Flying Squad detectives in June. Searches of Roberts’ address found the clothing worn by the suspect in the ‘smash and grab’ raid as well as the jacket and motorcycle helmet worn by the suspect in the cash in transit robbery, and the jacket worn by the getaway moped driver.

Detectives also recovered six bottles of the same brand of aftershave stolen during the department store raid.

The pair stole more than £40,000 in cash and perfume from security vans and designer shops, causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage. (SWNS)
The pair stole more than £40,000 in cash and perfume from security vans and designer shops, causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage. (SWNS)

Other evidence also linked the pair to the crimes.

Atherton pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, two counts of attempted burglary and one count of possession of a bladed article in a public place, while Roberts pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery.

Both men had previous convictions for ‘smash and grab’ robberies in the West End, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

Atherton, of Bow, east London, was sentenced to 10 years and six months’ in jail, while Roberts, of Clerkenwell, was sentenced to seven years and six months’ imprisonment.

Detective Constable Lenny O’Keeffe, of the Flying Squad, said: “Atherton and Roberts caused chaos in the West End, even threatening and using violence, in their bid to steal cash and high-value goods.

“Atherton even caused more than £45,000 worth of damage to two stores when he attempted to steal even more expensive goods.

“They soon discovered that crime does not pay and thanks to the investigative work by the Flying Squad, they will instead be spending a lengthy period of time behind bars.”

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