Woman becomes latest victim of London's iPhone bicycle muggers

170 iPhones are being stolen every day in London with pedestrians being targeted by muggers on bicycles

A former student has spoken out about becoming a victim of iPhone bicycle muggers.

Last week The Evening Standard revealed that 170 iPhones are being stolen every day in London with pedestrians being targeted by muggers on bicycles.

Ellie Buchdahl, 24, from Stockwell, had just had a quiet dinner with some friends at Pizza Express when the attack took place.

“I was texting with one hand when I came to a crossing,” she said. “I looked up to check if there were any cars and started to cross when a man on a bike cut me up, nearly knocking me down.”

He cycled off but the thief quickly doubled back, grabbing the iPhone 4S from her hand.

“I chased him up the street in my Ugg boots shouting ‘Stop thief’ but there was no way I could get him, he was going too quickly.

"It just makes you feel so stupid. I wasn’t physically hurt, but my pride was.”

Police say iPhones, that are worth £400, now make up more than half of all mobile phone thefts in the capital.

In the same period a total of 56,680 mobiles were stolen in London, or around 337 a day.

Thieves are also targeting people with Blackberry phones and other popular makes such as Samsung.

Some affluent neighbourhoods have seen a massive rise in the number of smartphones and other handheld gadgets swiped by cycling thieves.

As she doesn’t have insurance, Ellie, an online journalist, is now using an old phone for the remainder of her new 18-month contract but says that it isn’t just the cost of the handset that makes the experience so devastating. Her phone was only two weeks old and she had not set a pin number yet.

She said: “You have everything on your iPhone. Your Twitter, Facebook, Email. I had just sent an email to a visiting friend telling her my address. I was terrified the thief would see it.

“With iPhone a lot of your stuff is in the cloud. So that’s good. But the thought that this person could access all of my information. It just feels so invasive.”

Now police are issuing warnings to commuters and pedestrians around hotspots such as Tube stations where the number of muggings has rocketed in places by up to 400 per cent in a year.

In recent weeks police have handed out leaflets around Warwick Avenue tube station while there have also been reports of spates of bicycle muggings in Primrose Hill, Islington, Stoke Newington, Chancery Lane and Clapham.

Last week a detective constable collapsed and died as she was chasing two bicycle thieves who had snatched an iPhone from a woman in Belsize Park.

DC Adele Cashman, 30, collapsed in the street as she chased the pair and died later in hospital.

Two 17-year-olds appeared in court on Wednesday and were given six month referral orders after admitting snatching the phone from a woman who was sitting on a bench in Haverstock Hill checking her emails.

The surge mirrors a similar trend in New York where police report that thefts of iPhones and iPads are soaring by 40 per cent.

In the US police officers are being stationed at stores to register the serial numbers of devices along with people’s names and contact information.

In London police have been issued with iPads so they can use satellite tracking apps to trace stolen handsets.

Standard.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss