Ten members of a violent moped smash-and-grab gang have been jailed for a total of 110 years after a £1.2m series of raids on mobile phone shops.

The men, armed with hammers, knives and a gun, beat up and threatened to kill security guards and witnesses who got in their way.

The gang's lightening raids only lasted minutes as they broke their way into the stockrooms of stores using portable angle grinders and fencing blocks deployed as makeshift battering rams.

The thieves, who wore motorcycle helmets and dark clothing, then made their getaways on mopeds and scooters.

The gang threw away their crash helmets when being chased by police, in the mistaken believe that officers would not follow them.

Courtney White, 23, Mominur Rahman, 22, Mohammed Hussain, 24, Chang Mabiala, 22, Mohammed Ali, 24, Chris Costi, 19, Bobby Kennedy, 22, Alfie Kennedy, 21, Adam Attalah, 21, and Dylan Castano Lopez, 20, were all either convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, conspiracy to commit burglary between May 1 and November 27 last year.

All but one of their 17 raids targeted outlets owned by mobile phone operator Three. It said lost stock, damage to premises and increased security cost the firm around to £1.2m. It was even forced to close one store, which had hit four times by the gang.

Judge Michael Simon sentenced the gang for a combined total of 110 years and one month at London's Blackfriars Crown Court today (22 December).

He said: "The attacks were highly organised and meticulously planned. Nothing and no one was allowed to stand in the way of this gang's intentions."

During the case the court heard that three security guards were beaten and one witness was threatened with a firearm during the gang's furious spree.

Public alarm

Judge Simon added: "There can be no doubt their experience at the hands of this gang was terrifying and traumatic."

Network operator Three attached GPS tracking devices to some phones in their stores, the court heard, which could be tracked when they were stolen by the gang.

A selection of the tools and weapons the gang they used in the burglaries on the different shops
A selection of the tools and weapons the gang they used in the burglaries on the different shops Met Police

Rising numbers of moped robberies across the capital have cause public alarm. Data quoted in court revealed crimes using mopeds or scooters in London have almost trebled since last year, with 23,546 offences recorded in the 12 months up to November 2017.

Detective Sergeant Danny Watts welcomed sentences for the ten-strong gang.

He said: "It was a series of 17 very, very serious offences. Most of the people sentenced today have got previous convictions and this is an escalation in their offending pattern.

"It resulted in one of the shops being closed and the level of violence used against some of the security guards was appalling.

Hot pursuit

"There is a perception out there that we will not engage in a pursuit when suspects remove their helmets – that's not true. Every situation will take into account the risk factors, such as the age of the suspect."

White, from Wood Green in North London, was jailed for 18 years, with a two-year extended licence period; Rahman, from Camden in North London, was jailed for 12 and a half years; Hussain, 24, from Hackney, East London, was jailed for 10 years.

Mabiala, from Islington, North London, was jailed for eight and a half years; Ali, from Hackney, was jailed for seven years and one month; Costi, from Hackney, was jailed for eight and a half years.

Bobby Kennedy, from Islington, was jailed for 11 and a half years; Alfie Kennedy, from Shoreditch, was jailed for 13 years and one month; Attalah, of no fixed address, was jailed for 10 years and 10 months; and Lopez, from Camberwell, south London, was jailed for 10 years and one month.