Jail for Gravesend moped bag snatcher
PUBLISHED: 15:16 07 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:16 07 August 2018
A moped rider who snatched handbags from women walking alone at night in Gravesend has been jailed for four and a half years.
Jack Percival, 22, of no fixed address, admitted targeting five separate victims in the north Kent area in December 2017.
Percival and an unknown accomplice carried out the offences using a Honda moped that had been reported stolen during a robbery in Dartford several days earlier.
A 23-year-old woman had her handbag stolen and was pulled to the ground in Pelham Road, Gravesend, at 8.45pm on December 13 2017.
On the same night, a handbag containing an iPad, iPhone and other possessions were stolen from a 49-year-old woman who was also dragged to the ground while she walked in Overcliffe, Gravesend, at about 9.05pm.
Later that night, a 39-year-old woman had her handbag taken from her shoulder as she walked in Milton Road, Gravesend, at 9.10pm.
The bag contained a Sony smartphone, £30 cash and various bank cards.
The following night, a 37-year-old woman was approached while she walked in Pelham Road at about 7.15pm.
The offender was unable to remove the victim’s bag from her shoulder.
A 36-year-old woman fell to the ground after having her handbag snatched on London Road, Swanscombe, at about 7.55pm on Saturday December 16 2017. However the bag was dropped and she managed to reach it before the offenders, who then sped off.
Officers were on patrol in Northfleet when they discovered the stolen moped parked a short distance away from an address that was linked to Percival, on Monday December 18 2017.
They were later able to prove he had been in the area of each of the crimes at the times they were reported to have taken place.
Percival was arrested on Saturday January 6 2018 and subsequently pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, two counts of attempted robbery and one count of theft.
Investigating officer Det Con Dameon Shaw said: “Jack Percival has proven himself to be a cowardly individual by using a moped in order to steal handbags from women walking alone at night when they were at their most vulnerable.
“There is not a current crime trend in Kent related to robberies committed by people riding mopeds, and the number of incidents reported to us remains very low. I hope this case demonstrates that anyone who plans to carry out such offences will be arrested and sent to prison.
“Anyone concerned about becoming a victim of a crime committed by someone on a moped is advised to be aware of their surroundings at all times and keep as far from the road as possible when walking.
“Smartphones and other valuables should also be kept out of sight if possible.”