Man convicted of ATM robberies in Romford

A man caught in the act of committing an ATM robbery at his local shops by police has been convicted at court.

Joseph Oluwasanni, 18, of Lucerne Way, Harold Hill, Romford, pleaded guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Wednesday, June 23 of five counts of robbery.

He was remanded in custody to appear for sentencing at the same court on Tuesday, September 7.

The robberies were committed against separate victims on different days between Saturday, April 24 and Wednesday, May 5 at the TSB ATM on Hilldene Avenue, Harold Hill.

In all cases, Oluwasanni approached the person using the machine and either distracted them or pushed them out of the way to gain access to the machine and steal cash.

Detectives from the Met’s East Area Command Gangs Unit were deployed to conduct plain clothed patrols in the area around the ATM.

On May 5 the officers caught Oluwasanni as he attempted to make off following his fifth theft of £200 from a customer at the machine. He was arrested and taken to an east London police station where he was charged on Thursday, May 6 with five counts of robbery.

  • Incident 1: Saturday, April 24 at 10:48am. Oluwasanni approached an 83-year-old man who was using the ATM, told him the machine was not working before pushing him aside and taking £200 from the machine.
  • Incident 2: Tuesday, April 27 at 10:35am. A 71-year-old woman was approached by Oluwasanni, again saying the machine wasn’t working, pushed the victim out of the way and took £200.
  • Incident 3: Saturday, May 1 at 10:40am. A 68-year-old woman was pushed away from the ATM immediately she had entered her pin number. Oluwasanni withdrew £200 from her account.
  • Incident 4: Tuesday, May 4 at 10:55am. A man, aged in his 40s, was using the machine when Oluwasanni reached across him and pressed the button to withdraw £200 before snatching the cash.
  • Incident 5: Wednesday, May 5 at 3.00pm. A 70-year-old man was using the ATM when Oluwasanni pushed him out of the way and took £200 in cash from the machine.

Detective Sergeant Stephen Katete of the East Area Command Burglary and Robbery Investigation Team said: “While it is almost laughable that Oluwasanni was robbing people at the nearest ATM to his home address, there is no humour to be found in the impact that his actions will have had on the people that he targeted, four of whom were pensioners.

“None of the victims were seriously injured during the robberies, but as police are acutely aware, there are often long-lasting effects to becoming a victim of crime, many of which run far deeper than a loss of cash.

“As if to add insult to injury, he initially had the temerity to plead not guilty, despite having been caught in the act by police officers.

“I hope that the guilty plea he entered today that has resulted in his conviction goes some small way to restoring the personal confidence of the victims in this case and that they feel that justice has been served.”

Mick Ferris

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