Two teenagers who went on a two-day moped mugging spree robbing estate agents, cafe customers and phone users with a deadly hunting knife have been arrested.
The two aged 15 and 18 stole phones and a laptop in Southwark and The City.
But they were quickly traced down by Scotland Yard detectives from a unit specially set up to tackle criminals on mopeds.
The unit attracted criticism from the Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott over its tactic of knocking criminals off their mopeds.
The pair first struck when they went into an estate agent near the Elephant and Castle on Thursday afternoon.
The staff were threatened staff the large knife which had serrated top blade before their phones were stolen.
The robbers then escaped on a moped and with a quarter of an hour entered a coffee shop near London’s Blackfriars in the City.
Again they threatened customers with the knife before snatching a laptop.
The next day the pair carried out four moped muggings in Southwark when they managed to steal two phones.
But within an hour Operation Venice detectives traced and arrested the two in the Rotherhithe area.
The knife, moped and clothes used in the robberies were seized.
Scotland Yard said: “Operation Venice officers have arrested two teenagers following a number of moped enabled robberies in recent days.
“At around 4.50pm on Thursday, two males entered an estate agent in St Gabriel Walk.
“Staff members were threatened with a large knife and were robbed of their phones. The robbers made off on a moped.
“At 5.05pm that evening, in a coffee shop in New Bridge Street, the same males threatened a number of customers with a large knife.
“They stole a laptop computers and made off on a moped.
“Officers from the Operation Venice Investigation Team launched an urgent investigation.
“They were able to rapidly link these two incidents with a series of four thefts or attempted thefts at around 1pm on Friday, in the SE1 area of Southwark.
“Two phones were stolen during the four incidents; nobody was injured.
“At around 2pm – within an hour of the series of snatches – officers arrested two males in the Rotherhithe area.
“A knife was recovered along with the moped and clothing used in the robberies.
“The pair aged 18 and aged 15 were taken into custody at a south London police station, where they remain.”