Two teenagers have been jailed for a total of eight years after being found guilty of threatening staff at an agency in London with a hunting knife and stealing their mobile phones.
18-year-old Frankie Butcher (pictured, above) and his 16-year-old accomplice, who cannot be named for legal reasons, travelled to the Elephant & Castle office of seven-branch estate agency Chase Evans.
While Batchelor waited outside, the 16-year-old entered the branch with a large knife and threatened the three employees within the office all of whom fled to a rear room. Several mobile phones were subsequently stolen from their desks.
The criminal pair then fled and tried unsuccessfully to steal laptops from customers within a café in the Blackfriars area of London and when they resisted, produced a knife and threatened them, carrying off a single computer.
Batchelor and his accomplice then attempted three mobile phone snatches from pedestrians walking around central London, two of which were successful.
Police obtained CCTV footage of the pair provided by Chase Evans’ video surveillance system and both teenagers were identified using facial recognition software and were arrested the day after.
“These two violent offenders were a menace to the London public,” Detective Constable Mark Cooper of the Venice Investigation Team, told local media.
“In their brazen crime spree they used intimidation and violence to threaten, rob and steal from people going about their daily lives.”
Chase Evans is not the only agency to have been targeted by walk-in thieves. Essex estate agent Griffin had a several thousand pounds stolen by from its offices by three men using distraction techniques.