Violent Ilford robber targeted teenagers during four-day crime spree

A violent robber from Ilford who left his teenage victims terrified during a four-day crime spree was jailed for nine years today.

Harkiran Harpreet Singh, 20, of Ashburton Avenue, Seven Kings, targeted boys as young as 13 to steal mobile phones and designer clothing by attacking them and threatening them with the use of a weapon.

He pleaded guilty to nine counts of robbery and a further count of attempted robbery at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

He also admitted possession of an imitation firearm with intent.

His spree began on November 10 when his victim was a 13-year-old boy in Snakes Lane East, Woodford Green.

Singh told a group of three friends, who were waiting for a taxi at 9.45pm, that he had a knife, before pushing his victim against a wall and ripping his Prada bag off him.

The bag, which contained a BlackBerry phone, was found on the suspect when he was arrested.

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Just two days later, Singh pulled up in a car next to six boys aged 14 to 16 who were sitting on a bench in Hobart Road, Barkingside, at 9pm.

Again he said he had a knife and forced the group to line up before emptying their pockets.

He took hold of one of the boy’s throats and slapped him in the face.

Singh stole four mobile phones and an inscribed iPod Touch.

And he admitted a further three offences committed on November 14.

At 4.55pm, he came up behind a 15-year-old boy in Tomswood Hill, Barkingside.

The boy saw a knife blade in Singh’s pocket and was forced to hand over his BlackBerry phone.

Four hours later, Singh got out of his dark VW Polo car at a bus stop in Hillside Avenue, Woodford Green, and hit a 14-year-old boy who was walking away from him in the side of the face.

He placed the boy in a headlock and punched him four times before going through his pockets and taking cash and a mobile phone.

Finally, at 10pm, he threatened to shoot an 18-year-old man in Craven Gardens, Ilford, and demanded his phone. The victim was able to run away.

After police identified his car, Singh was arrested on November 16, when he was found with a bag of stolen property at his door.

Det Con Chris James, of Redbridge police, said: “Singh carried out a relentless robbery spree in the

Redbridge area that was only brought to an end by Redbridge Robbery Squad acting swiftly to identify and arrest him.

“His victims genuinely believed they would be attacked - and some were - if they didn’t hand over their property and were left terrified by their ordeal at Singh’s hands.”