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Hammer-wielding thieves threaten security guard in Apple flagship store raid

Police said 10 thieves smashed their way into Apple’s Regent Street store in London.

A security guard was threatened with a hammer as 10 thieves smashed into Apple’s Regent Street store before making off on mopeds with iPhones, iPads and watches.

At least three scooters waited on the pavement as people wearing helmets shuttled in and out during the early morning raid in London, video posted online shows.

Miah Mohammad Sheful, 28, who shot the 44-second clip as he waited for a bus, said it took the suspects several attempts to break in the door of the tech giant’s flagship store.

Passing cars started beeping their horns to prevent the burglary as they realised what was unfolding, the digital marketer said, but within seconds the mopeds had fled.

The Metropolitan Police said they were called at 12.45am on Monday to reports of an aggravated burglary.

Around three minutes earlier, 10 suspects on five mopeds reportedly smashed their way into the store and took Apple products, with one threatening a security guard who tried to stop them with a hammer.

The suspects, described as wearing dark clothing, are said to have made off northbound along Regent Street.

The Apple Store in Regent Street was hit by 10 thieves on mopeds (Philip Toscano/PA)

The man who threatened the guard was described as black.

The raid comes one month after a gang of thieves riding mopeds attacked a high-end jeweller’s in the same street.

Three suspects are believed to have smashed display cabinets to escape with a high-value haul, after a hammer, axe and bats were used to break in to the store.

Officers believe six culprits were involved in the raid at Mappin & Webb in Regent Street at around 7.20pm on Monday October 9.

There has been a surge in thefts of mopeds or scooters, as well as in crimes carried out by individuals riding them.

Figures suggest that in the year to September, there were more than 19,385 “moped enabled” crimes in the capital – an average of 53 a day – including thefts and robberies.

Police say there are a number of factors behind the trend, including a rise in the number of people using scooters to commute and a growing market for second-hand mobile phone parts.

Scooter criminals normally travel in pairs with a passenger sitting behind the driver, targeting busy areas where they can snatch high-value smartphones.

At the end of last month, Scotland Yard revealed that it was using a special spray to “tag” moped-riding criminals after a surge in offences perpetrated using the vehicles.

The spray marks the offender with an invisible liquid which is extremely difficult to remove and contains a DNA-style unique code.

Frontline teams have also been kitted out with automatic “stinger” devices that can remotely puncture tyres to stop criminals getting away.

In a third tactic, a fleet of new lightweight motorbikes has been rolled out to make police more nimble in their pursuit of suspects, who often use alleyways and narrow streets to escape.

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