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Bag thief jailed after stealing five rucksacks in summer crime spree in the City

A prolific bag thief has been jailed for 15 months after admitting to five offences.

Ismail Lakehal, 45, of no fixed abode, was sentenced on Friday 1 November 2019 at Inner London Crown Court. At sentencing, Judge Jeremy Donne RD QC told Lakehal his crimes were serious "due to the loss and inconvenience suffered by the victims".

PC Kevin Bassant, from the City of London Police, said:

“Putting Lakehal behind bars will reduce some of the theft occurring in the City’s licensed premises. However, we have seen a rise in these types of offences recently and expect this trend to continue as pubs, bars and restaurants get busier over the Christmas period.

“It’s important people keep an eye on their belongings when they are out and about and are aware of their surroundings, especially after work when they might have high value items such as laptops and tablets. It can be easy to think your belongings are safe under a table or chair, but in reality, a busy pub or bar is the perfect environment for thieves to go unnoticed - so keep your bags within reach.”

Lakehal specifically targeted the ‘Rack and Tenter’ bar in Moorgate during the summer and was successful in stealing five rucksacks from male victims, all of whom were out in the City after work, having drinks with friends. Each victim had a laptop in the rucksack which was stolen by Lakehal. Other items lost during the thefts included an iPad, passport, house keys, phone, headphones and designer sunglasses.

Lakehal committed his first offence on 25 June 2019 before going on a crime spree in August, committing four more thefts in the space of three weeks.

All of Lakehal’s crimes occurred on weekday evenings between 19.00 and 22.30hrs.

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