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Thief who preyed on gay men before stealing thousands of pounds is jailed

Reda Zahri stole more than £25,000 using a suitcase from one victim

Barney Davis
Monday 04 March 2024 18:58 GMT
Reda Zahri would strike up conversations with gay men to gain their confidence before stealing from them
Reda Zahri would strike up conversations with gay men to gain their confidence before stealing from them (Met Police)

A man who preyed on gay men to steal from them, taking more than £25,000 from one victim, has been jailed.

Reda Zahri, 22, lied to detectives about his age in an attempt to get a lenient punishment before he was finally locked up for 11 years and six months at Southwark Crown Court on Friday.

The court heard how Zahri struck up conversations with gay men to gain their confidence before he would target them for their belongings.

He often engaged in sexual activity with them, before stealing items, often with the victim being unaware, and then fleeing.

He stole more than £25,000 from an unsuspecting victim using a suitcase.

Detectives managed to track Zahri down after he stole from a man he had met in Camden in London. Before being robbed the victim had managed to get Zahri’s Instagram handle and showed this to officers.

When Zahri was arrested he initially refused to answer any questions and also claimed to be 17, making him a juvenile in the eyes of the law.

But detectives didn’t believe him and managed to find a link to Germany where Zahri had been before coming to the UK, dismissing his claim.

Detective Constable Nigel Pacquette said: “All three of Zahri’s victims were gay men, making [it] clear that he was preying on members of the gay community. I also hope this sends out a strong message that the police will investigate anyone and everyone who has been a victim of crime.

“It is entirely plausible that Zahri targeted other people who, for whatever reason, have not had the confidence to come forward and report this. I would urge you to please make contact with police so we can investigate any allegations thoroughly.”

Zahri, of Haverstock Road, Kentish Town, London, had pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary, one count of false imprisonment and one count of attempting to commit robbery relating to three different men.

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