Three men jailed for series of robberies on trains across South London
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Three men have been jailed for a combined twelve years and seven months after carrying out a series of robberies on trains across South London. A fourth man has received an 18-month suspended sentence and 80 hours of unpaid work.
Their convictions follow an extensive British Transport Police (BTP) investigation, working in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police.
Elias Angulo Ruiz, 22, of Ivatt Place Hammersmith, was sentenced to six years in prison.
Starling Rodriguez Jose, 24, of Kildare Road Canning Town, was sentenced to three years and six months in prison.
Juan Martinez Vargas, 22, of Sudley Grange Road, Ealing, was sentenced to three years and one month in prison.
All three received eight-year criminal behaviour orders which prevent them from:
Travelling on any form of TfL public transport unless they’ve paid with their own Oyster Card or contactless payment card.
Carrying a mobile phone, unless they can demonstrate it is registered to them, their employer or their parents.
Associating with or being in the company of any of the co-defendants.
Yoscar Lake, 22, from Thornton Heath, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years. He is required to undertake 80 hours of unpaid work and has received a 5-year criminal behaviour order.
All were convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery on Friday, 17 November, at Inner London Crown Court. Angulo Ruiz was convicted of an additional two counts of possession of a bladed article.
Their convictions relate to robberies that occurred on British Transport Police and Metropolitan Police jurisdiction in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Over the course of six weeks in summer 2019, the group committed 14 robberies.
They targeted people at train stations including Elephant & Castle, Tulse Hill and Sydenham, taking phones and jewellery.
In several of the robberies, they ripped gold chains from their victims’ necks.
In one particularly violent robbery on board a train between Tulse Hill and Streatham, a victim was punched and kicked in the face. In this robbery, the group took a silver chain that was worth just £36.
Investigating officers used CCTV to identify all of the suspects.
In March 2020, Angulo Ruiz was part of a group found to be in possession of a bag containing two knives at West Croydon Railway Station. In September 2021, he attempted to rob a man a knifepoint on board a train between Nunhead and Elephant & Castle.
Further offences by members of the same group relating to a robbery on board a bus in Thornton Heath and in the Old Street underpass were investigated by the Metropolitan Police and formed part of the case.
Detective Sergeant Tulin Akdam, investigating officer in the case, said:
“Criminals like this should know that we’ll make sure they face justice for the crimes they inflict on innocent members of the public.
“This cowardly group worked together to intimidate and target passengers across South London. The rail network is covered by extensive CCTV, which we successfully used to prove that they were behind this crime spree.
“Our uniformed and plain-clothes teams patrol the rail network every day to deter robbery and make sure passengers have safe journeys. Fortunately, incidents like this are rare.
“If a robbery has just happened, always dial 999 – our officers will quickly deploy to your location and begin immediate enquiries to trace the culprits.”