Have-A-Go Locals Foil Bag Snatch Bandit

Robber flees empty handed as witnesses give chase on Hammersmith Road

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28-year-old Karolis Kaminskas, of Jewel Road, Waltham Forest

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A man has been brought to justice after his attempt to steal a woman’s bag from her car on the Hammersmith Road, W14 ended in disaster.

28-year-old Karolis Kaminskas, of Jewel Road, Waltham Forest pulled up next to his 47-year-old victim on a stolen moped in broad daylight on 29 September 2014. He opened the door and grabbed her bag from the passenger seat. A struggle between Kaminskas and the woman took place as she tried to keep hold of her bag.

Other quick-thinking road users realised what was happening and tried to apprehend Kaminskas. A taxi driver pulled up and moved his mini cab to block the moped, forcing Kaminskas to abandon it and flee on foot. He was pursued by members of public in their cars and one man on his motorbike but he managed to escape.

Police were called and although Kaminskas had thrown his helmet across a fence onto the railway tracks, Hammersmith and Fulham officer PC Christopher Campbell coordinated with Transport for London (TfL) staff and retrieved it. Following forensic examinations Kaminskas' DNA was found on both the helmet and handlebars of the moped.

The moped was later identified as having been stolen exactly two months earlier from a leisure centre on Clissold Road, N16.

Kaminskas was arrested in Fulham on Monday, 9 February for an unrelated matter. He was charged with robbery and handling stolen goods.

On Tuesday, 4 August the jury at Isleworth Crown Court returned a unanimous verdict of guilty on both counts. Kaminskas was given two years' imprisonment for each offence, to be served concurrently.

During the investigation detectives established that Kaminskas was wanted on a European Arrest Warrant. At the end of his sentence he will be sent to his home country of Lithuania where he will stand trial for another offence.

Detective Constable Robert Rodak from Hammersmith and Fulham CID, said: "This brazen daylight robber was thwarted by public-spirited Londoners who bravely chased him away.

"We would always advise the public to carefully assess the risk of situations like this, however sometimes people react instinctively to situations, and on this occasion their actions led to a robber fleeing empty-handed, the recovery of a stolen vehicle along with key evidence which later led police in bringing Kaminskas to justice."

August 12, 2015