Moped thief, 24, is jailed for 10 years after stealing a £75,000 watch from a man he threatened with a hunting knife
- Zuriel Hutson rode at victim, pulled the knife and demanded Richard Mille watch
- He also took the 47-year-old’s phone and wallet in Barnet, Hertfordshire last year
- Hutson and pillion sped off, but man’s phone found and helped police with probe
- Hutson was found guilty of robbery and possession of weapon at Harrow Court
- Leila Shannon, his accomplice, 19, admitted harbouring Hutson after the robbery
A moped thief who stole a £75,000 watch from a man he threatened with a large hunting knife has been jailed for 10 years.
Zuriel Hutson, 24, rode up to his victim, pulled the blade and demanded the Richard Mille timepiece as well as the 47-year-old’s phone and wallet in Barnet, Hertfordshire, on October 30 last year.
Hutson and a pillion sped off after the terrifying robbery, but the man’s phone was found nearby and helped police with their investigation.
Zuriel Hutson (left) was found unanimously found guilty of robbery and possession of an offensive weapon after a trial at Harrow Crown Court. Leila Shannon (right), his accomplice, 19, who admitted assisting an offender by harbouring him, was also given a jail sentence but it was suspended for two years
Police from Operation Venice swooped on an Islington address on November 24 last year and arrested Hutson.
He was found unanimously found guilty of robbery and possession of an offensive weapon after a trial at Harrow Crown Court.
What is police guidance on ‘tactical contact’?
Police said guidance on the use of vehicles in stopping mopeds is similar to that surrounding the use of force by officers on foot.
Officers are told they can only use force when it is ‘absolutely necessary, reasonable and proportionate’.
Police car drivers have to keep this in mind when deciding whether to crash into a fleeing moped mugger.
Whereas police may have been more reluctant to chase robbers without helmets in previous years, the spike in moped crime has concentrated the minds of Scotland Yard chiefs.
More training for ‘scorpion’ drivers and the increasingly dangerous tactics used by muggers has led to the method being more widely used.
Leila Shannon, his accomplice, 19, who admitted assisting an offender by harbouring him, was also given a jail sentence but it was suspended for two years.
It was found she had helped him hide, as well as store the knife and moped after the robbery.
The watch has not been found.
Police Sergeant Callum Rodgers, of Operation Venice, said: ‘This was a terrifying robbery by a ruthless offender who targeted his victim and threatened serious violence to rob the man of his watch.
‘Detectives worked quickly to identify Hutson, and he was tracked down with two weeks of the incident.
‘In harbouring an offender and helping Hutson evade the authorities and hiding evidence, Shannon made a grave mistake and she now has a criminal record to her name.
‘Operation Venice team members are active across London every day, identifying criminals using mopeds to commit crime and keeping Londoners safe.’
It was not Hutson’s first offence. In 2017 l Hutson and Sharuk Sheraji, 22, stole handsets from 18 people in one day of crime across London.
Hutson steered the moped while Sherarji rode pillion looking out for vulnerable targets.
They snatched 10 phones in Westminster and attempted to grab an 11th, three in Camden, two in Islington, two phones in Hackney and one in Tower Hamlets.
But officers from Operation Attrition – the Met’s specialist response unit to thieves on mopeds – were mobilised in unmarked police cars.
Hutson tried to escape on the moped, heading north on to the North Circular but was caught following a dramatic police chase.