A man and a woman have been jailed for a series of robberies on elderly people at cashpoints across East London.
Anton Welio, 34, and Stephanie Smillie, 34, would target elderly men and women as they were withdrawing money from cash machines in Newham and Tower Hamlets .
Welio would approach the victim from behind and start talking to them, before pushing them aside to steal the cash. Smillie would keep watch then the pair would run away.
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They would often steal hundreds of pounds from the victims and even seized £500 on one occasion.
Detective Constable Raf Patel said: “This pair carried out a series of cowardly robberies on elderly people who were withdrawing cash.
“This sort of crime creates fear in some of the most vulnerable members of society, who may already have felt concerned about going out in public during the height of the pandemic.
“Welio and Smillie have quite rightly been jailed and will now be unable to cause any harm to people in Newham and Tower Hamlets.”
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The pair, both of Philpot Street, Tower Hamlets, pleaded guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court and were sentenced to five years each in prison on Friday, September 10.
Welio was convicted of 13 counts of robbery and Smillie 11 counts.
The majority of the offences were carried out at cashpoints in Newham in 2020.
The pair were arrested and interviewed on January 28 2021 and were charged the following day.
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