Residents fear return of ‘hole in the wall gang’ amid new spate of brick thefts

Mr Rashid's property, in Ashgrove Road, has now been targetted by brick thieves three times.

Mr Rashid's property, in Ashgrove Road, has now been targetted by brick thieves three times. - Credit: Sikander Rashid

A group of opportunistic thieves who stole hundreds of pounds worth of bricks from front garden walls across the borough in a series of brick thefts earlier this year appear to have returned.

Dubbed “the hole-in-the-wall gang”, the thieves struck repeatedly throughout Goodmayes and Seven Kings during a three month spree earlier this year, stealing as many as 300 bricks - valued at around £2 each - at a time.

However, by May the group appeared to have given up their life of brick-related crime and the thefts came to an end.

Until now.

This week, reports of new brick thefts in Ashgrove Road and Felbrigge Road in Goodmayes have come to light, with another case reported in Bedford Road in Ilford.

Sikander Rashid, who lives in Ashgrove Road, has now been a victim of three separate incidents of brick theft.

“This time was on Bonfire Night,” he told the Recorder. “So there wouldn’t have been any dogs out because they are afraid of the fireworks.

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“These people saw an opportunity and they took it.

“I had put up boardings around my walls but they weren’t thick enough, now the wall has been repaired again and I’ve put three-quarter ply wood around them like you do on a building site.

“They would need a jackhammer to get at my wall now, and they would make a lot of noise doing it.”

To read the full report pick up a copy of this week’s Ilford Recorder, on sale from Thursday.

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