Surrendering To Criminals

So here’s something to get you in a cheerful mood before the long weekend:

Police warn it is no longer safe to walk and talk on your mobile as scooter gangs pocket £2,000 an hour from drive-by phone snatches

As officers battle an epidemic of moped muggings, police are now warning the public not to stand on a curb or street corner with their phone in their hand or risk having it torn from their grasp by thugs who can sell on a single handset for £100.
Up to 50,000 offences a year are being committed by thieves on scooters and mopeds in the capital, while some teenage thieves are being arrested up to 80 times but not sent to jail.

Well, that last sentence is yer problem right there, innit? You stupid idiots. Especially when you have a situation such as seen in the pic below:

Somebody explain to me how this doesn’t constitute armed robbery, and why this little thug and his buddy do not qualify for at least ten years in jail? (Somebody from Britain, I mean. My US Readers are baying like a pack of hounds at this travesty.)

But it gets better.

Over the last 12 months a total of 15,100 mopeds and motorbikes were stolen in London compared to 10,704 the previous year.
Gangs of mainly teenage boys can steal scooters by simply breaking their steering locks.
Detectives are targeting at least 500 known offenders behind the spree.
Yesterday Superintendent Payne compared the desirability of mopeds to thieves as the ubiquitous Ford Cortina in the 1980s, saying: ‘This is the Ford Cortina of the 21st century, they are easy to steal and when we spoke to the manufacturer they said they can fix the problem but it’s going to be three or four years away. They are in the Ford Cortina bracket, you do not need any skill to ride them, you don’t even have to change gear.
‘The theft is all done on a stolen bike. Thieves can steal these bikes in less than 60 seconds, it’s really quick. [They] take hold of the handlebars and break the steering wheel lock by pulling it, it’s like a lump of metal. Most bikes are then stolen by just walking it round the corner and they either sell it on or use it to commit crime.’
The warning come after a spate of muggings in central London, with riders using weapons such as machetes and hammers to intimidate and injure their victims as they try and snatch their mobile phones.

I would probably end up in jail after intervening in one of these little romps.

How, you ask? Imagine having just nicked some fool’s phone out of his hand, and you’re driving off on your stolen moped feeling proud of yourself, when some old geezer (that would be me) steps into the street in front of you and smashes his thick wooden cane* across your face, causing you and your thieving buddy to crash and spill into the road like a broken bag of vegetables. Then said geezer runs over to you while you’re lying there stunned, and starts to put the boot into your ribs, and when he’s done with you, tries to rip your little hammer-wielding friend’s head off his body by pulling his helmet violently around in a full circle. And then things start to get seriously violent.

It’s probably a Good Thing that I’m spending only a little time in London, because otherwise I’d be spending a lot of time in London, if you get my drift. Because while these little shits are obviously part of a “catch and release” program, I have no doubt that I would qualify for a very stiff sentence.

Can’t be endangering the lives of violent criminals, after all. That’s against the law.

*Yes, I walk with a cane when I’m Over There, because my gouty toes start to ache after I’ve walked more than half a mile on city sidewalks, and I need the support.


  1. A friend of mine stopped 2 of those thieves from stealing his bike from his drive. The police made clear to him that if he had injured any of those 2 minors, he would have been in trouble. Indeed, he had a nanchuk (not his best move as one of the thugs took it from him) and he was lucky they didn’t charge him for using it…

    So yes, it is as bad as you describe it.

  2. But how can they use machetes or hammers? The Brits have prohibited the carrying of both! SCNR

  3. What kind of catch-and-release bullshit is allowing scum-nuts to commit robbery 80 times and not be locked away for a very long time? I can think of several effective ways to slow this crap down including setting up a spin operation with a pole with one of those loops dog catchers use and dropping a thin steel cable loop over the driver’s head with about 100 ft. of wire attached. Let the snatch and grabbers get up some decent speed before the cable attached to an auto or lamp pole comes taunt and the guys head, in the helmet, pops off. That would make for some good TV filming the headless body going on down the street on the moped until it crashes.

    From what I have read people are not supposed to cause agony and pain on criminals caught in the act in Britain but this stuff just isn’t right. If the Brits had lots of big pickup trucks with heavy brush guards in front, like we do here in the Texas Hill Country, they could play bumper cars with the robber-cycles and knock them off the road. Of course arming people and allowing them to shoot those who do evil is probably out of the question at this time because that would make sense in a Texas sort of way.

  4. My word! I do believe you have just given me a concept for a new walking cane. Titanium tubing with about 4 oz of lead at the ground end (for balance you see) and a nice cast and polished brass eagle head (or gargoyle of choice) hand rest at the top. Should sell very well in the UK and Chicago. Yes, could do carved Brazil wood or ivory, but that causes other issues with the pantywaists at border..

    Thanks for the concept brother from another mother. Going to look into the cost and process for this. So long as no parts are detachable it may get through TSA. Custom sized of course, none of this flimsy adjustable crap.

    Could consider a smallsword option (which forces a detachable handle) but that surely would NOT get passed by TSA (snerk).

    1. @terrapod
      Have a look at Cold Steel’s City Stick (formerly the City Fight Stick) with the replaceable handle. It’s quite neat, albeit a bit heavy.

      Works nicely in most parts of the civilised world, but UK laws are quite simple from a practical perspective: If it could be used as an offensive weapon (or worse, was designed as such), it will be treated as one and you are so out of luck…

    2. I’m thinking a good, solid, unbreakable umbrella would be a good thing to have.
      Don’t want some flimsy umbrella what might get broken during the normal bumps of travel.

  5. I’m tired of this idea that you can’t use violence to protect your property. Why not? You see, unlike the thief, I BOUGHT my property. Which means I worked to earn the money to buy it. Which means I gave up a portion of my life, during which I could have been fishing, or shooting, or reading, or making love to my wife, or sitting around with my thumb up my ass doing absolutely NOTHING, but instead I was at work earning money. So when you steal my property, you steal the portion of my life I gave up in order to buy it, a portion of my life I can never get back, and I now have to give up yet another irreplacable portion of my life to buy a new item to replace the one that was stolen.

    So yeah, that calls for violence in a civilized society.

    The problem being when the criminals don’t fear the criminal justice system, and they don’t fear the potential victims, that you no longer HAVE a civilized society.

  6. This type of crime is nothing new. They used to snatch handbags. That’s still common in Italy, IIRC.

  7. The reaction that popped into my head was very similar to yours, Kim. My cane, however, would resemble an elongated cricket bat. (Think 2×4 with a handle)

  8. “when some old geezer (that would be me) steps into the street in front of you and smashes his thick wooden cane* across your face…”

    This reminds of an incident caught on video in China. A punk on a scooter snatched a lady’s handbag, and buzzed away. Halfway down the block, a bystander had dismounted from his bicycle. As Scooter Punk passed, the cyclist swung the bike with both hands and knocked him down good.

    What Joe Bob Briggs would call “bicycle fu”.

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