THE COMEDIAN Michael McIntyre was robbed by two men riding scooters yesterday, while waiting in his car during the school run in North West London.
The driver’s window of the stand-up comic’s £120,000 Range Rover was smashed with a hammer during the raid, before the gang demanded McIntyre hand over his watch, which is reported to be worth £15,000.
McIntyre was later seen comforting his two children, aged 13 and 11, with one of the performer’s sons being present as the heist took place. Witnesses said the comedian also spent two hours talking with police, during which they safely removed the broken glass from the car, before he drove home.
The frequency of scooter gang thefts in the capital has increased dramatically in the last five years. According to statistics obtained by the BBC last month, there were 30 times more ride-by scooter/ moped robberies in 2017 compared with 2012 — up from 827 to more than 23,000 reported cases. Pedestrians talking on mobile phones are often targeted.
In response, London’s Metropolitan Police says it has been putting a huge amount of effort into stemming the trend. Tactics currently being used to combat scooter thefts include the use of DNA tagging sprays, light-weight motorbikes in police patrols and “remotely-activated tyre deflation technology”.
According to the Metropolitan Police, these measures are having an impact: it claims crimes committed on mopeds, scooters and motorcycles were reduced from June 2017’s peak of 2,592 cases to 1,238 incidents in March 2018.