Estate agent laments lack of police support over moped gangs

An agent has called for more police support after his business was targeted by moped thieves just weeks after opening.

George Sifonios set up estate agent David Astburys in Crouch End, London, last month and found his branch swiftly targeted by moped thieves. He believes eight other local estate agents have been hit by moped gangs in recent weeks.

The thieves smashed through the shopfront and stole computer equipment from the agency before speeding off on their mopeds in the early-morning incident.

The culprits have not been caught but he believes they are the same hammer-wielding individuals who targeted a local tapas restaurant in a frightening incident last week.

Sifonios, who has worked in the area previously as lettings manager for Greene & Co and Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, said more needs to be done to keep the community and his staff safe.

He said: “We feel scared every time we are coming into the office as our computers are inside. We are now having to put additional security in.

“Our new starters feel uneasy and it is difficult to leave staff on their own. I don’t want to end up needing a security guard on the door.

“We have had calls from other agents who have suffered from break-ins.

“Our staff feel vulnerable, but when I ask the police if they are going to patrol the area to scare thieves off, they can’t promise anything.

“It’s a scary world at the minute.”

Agents may be particularly vulnerable because computer equipment can so easily be seen from the street, and because of their routine opening hours. While moped thefts have not been widely reported outside London, other agents should be warned.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police told EYE yesterday that there is not a breakdown of stats to show how regularly agency branches are targeted and added that the issue hadn’t been raised as a major trend.

He also referred agents to guidance on the Met website on how to protect their business from burglaries.


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  1. Will

    The ridiculous police policy of officers not chasing moped thieves is one reason for the increase in these offenses. Not chasing if they don’t wear crash helmets in case the poor little dears have an accident and kill themselves. Well I personally have no sympathy; like the cowardly scum that use acid as a weapon society would be better off if these animals were removed from society.

  2. gk1uk2001

    Not really the police’s fault though is it? This type of incident, although very distressing for those involved/targeted, isn’t a priority for the police and with their ever dwindling resources never will be whilst there are stabbings, assaults, acid attacks, murders, shootings etc that need to be dealt with. As a police officer once told me, a crime against a person is and always will be treated far more seriously than a crime against property. Let’s not jump on the bandwagon of battering the police because let’s be honest, how many of us would actually be willing/able to do the job they do and take that level of grief etc for the salary they get paid?

    1. CountryLass

      Very true. The police are being stretched thinner and thinner with more budget cuts, silly hoops to jump through and having to investigate people being ‘offended’ by a comment on someone’s Facebook page.

      My father was a police officer, and the salary does not come close to covering all the emotional distress that the job causes, both for the officer, the partner who has to try and get blood stains out of the uniform or the children who wake up to be told that their dad is in hospital as some thug decided to steal a car and drive off at high speed, dragging the officer along….


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