South West London safer as prolific pickpocket gang finally behind bars


The seven Colombian nationals were jailed for three years each.


By SWLondoner staff

Commuters across South West London can feel safer after a pickpocket group was jailed earlier this month.

The seven pickpockets, all of whom are Colombian nationals, were responsible for 25 theft offences, many in and around Brixton station.

After a successful operation by the Safer Transport Command, Teresa Flores Ramirez, Carmen Galinda Vargas, David Perez Mora, Fernando Garfias Lara, Eduardo Ricardo Huertas, Segundo Siervo Hernandez Herreno and Jose Onoa Enriquez were jailed for three years each following a trial at Croydon Crown Court.

Police had been aware of the group, four of whom are pensioners, since 2010 but were not able to identify them until last year after trawling intelligence reports.

In November 2012, as the gang prepared to target people who had withdrawn money from a bank, the officers moved in and arrested all seven pickpockets.

They were found to be carrying make-up which they used to spray on victims’ coats, which they would then help to clean off while another stole their money.  

Other items found included drawing pins, nails and tacks which they would drop on the floor in front of the victim, again whilst taking their money.

Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor, Safer Transport Command said that this should be a clear sign that anyone committing an offence on public transport will be caught.

“This is an excellent result which has seen a team of organised criminals and prolific pickpockets receive a robust judicial outcome with a lengthy time in jail,” she said.

“The Safer Transport Command has a primary aim to safeguard the travelling public from criminals and to keep them safe whilst using London’s bus system.

“If you commit an offence on the transport network, you will be caught. The message is clear: Crime on London’s bus system will not be tolerated – the Safer Transport Command will arrest and charge those responsible.”

Siwan Hayward, Deputy Director of TfL’s Community Safety and Enforcement Policing Directorate, said that crime on London’s public transport continues to fall and is now at its lowest level in eight years.

“These latest convictions against seven notorious pickpockets are testament to the hard work and determination that both TfL and the Metropolitan Police Service put into preventing crime across London every single day,” she said.

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