Camden police hunt for ‘Fagin’ in criminal pickpocket gang

16:06 29 February 2012

Camden police are hunting for a

Camden police are hunting for a 'Fagin' figure

Archant

Police are seeking to dismantle a network of Romanian pickpockets run by a “Fagin figure” targeting the streets of Camden.

Officers rounded up gangs of alleged petty thieves who are said to prey on tourists and residents in the borough on Friday (February 24).

They seized laptops, credit cards, and cash from five properties and searched for paperwork linking the alleged pickpockets to higher ranks of the suspected criminal gang.

Det Supt Richard Tucker said: “There is strong evidence that this is an organised criminal network. These people we have arrested are the low end of the operation.

“From evidence and past operations there will be someone in the back ground pulling the strings and they will be where the money ends up.”

Police swooped on homes in Haringey, Newham, Enfield, Barking and Dagenham, in a bid to “squeeze” the organised gang.

Officers spoke to more than 50 adults in connection with crimes in Camden and have arrested 30 people in the last month.

At one three-bedroom house in Dagenham two mothers were arrested for allegedly stealing iPhones from coffee shops and bars.

In a top-down search of the property where 12 people were living, officers discovered laptops, cash and mobile phone computer chips in cupboards and clothes.

A man was also arrested for allegedly having a collection of bank cards all in different names.

“These people live in very poor conditions and whereas before we were looking at arresting one person for one offence we’re looking to go further and find the next person through any bank statements or paperwork we can find,” said Det Supt Tucker. “We’re looking at who owns these houses and why this number of people are allowed to live here.

“We might not have the serious crime like other boroughs do, but this is the sort of crime that hits Camden. People coming into the borough and preying on visitors.

“This is an organised criminal network and these kinds of jobs are about taking the fight to their doorsteps. This is only the beginning.”

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 18:17
The Shomrim Patrol member found this chilling graffiti in Upper Clapton [Photo by @ShomrimOfficial]

Police are investigating after two swastikas were found daubed on a wall in Hackney.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:07
Is this the ugliest new building in Britain, never mind London? [Photo by George Rex under a Creative Commons license]

You might have heard of the Stirling Prize for beautiful buildings – now get ready for the Carbuncle Cup, honouring the ugliest new building of the year!

Read more
Yesterday, 16:59
Julie Sillitoe

A taxi driver crushed to death by falling masonry only went out to work in “horrendous” weather to pay for her beloved husband’s birthday present.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

Amy Winehouse's second album became a classic

Are you an Amy Winehouse superfan?

Read more
I'm only going to say this once: Stand. On. The. Right.

James Bond is Britain’s most famous secret agent, and the capital is its most famous city, so it makes sense that 007 would live and work here when he isn’t gallivanting around the world.

Read more
Can you find the animals hiding in London station names? (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

You may not realise it but there are animals hiding in stations across London? Play our quiz and see if you can you find them:

Read more