A woman who committed a series of robberies and theft on buses in Hackney, even targeting an 87-year-old man, has been jailed.
Gloria Makanjuola, 28 (12.09.1990) of no fixed address was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Wednesday, 21 August to two years and eight months' imprisonment after pleading guilty to eight counts of robbery, four counts of theft and four counts of fraud at an earlier hearing at Thames Magistrates’ Court on 10 July.
Makanjuola committed the offences between September 2018 and October 2018 across Hackney. Her victims were aged between 18 and 87 years and all the offences occurred on buses in Hackney.
One victim, an 87-year-old man was targeted by Makanjuola as he travelled on a route 30 bus around Wick Road. She sat next to the victim and tried to put her hands in his pocket. He told her to stop but she managed to grab around £80 in cash.
On another occasion, an 18-year-old woman was on board a route 277 bus in the area of Mare Street, E5 when Makanjuola started talking to her. During the conversation she kept touching the victim and was crying.
The victim told her to leave her alone. Makanjuola then left the bus by pressing the emergency exit button. When the victim got up to leave the bus she noticed that her purse and oyster card had been stolen.
Detective Sergeant Coleman, the senior investigating officer, from the Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC) said: “Gloria Makanjuola was a prolific offender in the Hackney area. She targeted vulnerable passengers using the bus network system, committing robbery or theft offences. If bank cards were stolen, she used the opportunity to use the cards to make contactless payments at local stores.
"Working in partnership with the Safer Transport Teams and Transport for London, Makanjuola was identified and arrested for various robbery and theft related offences. I would like to thank the victims in this investigation who had the courage to report these matters and assist in the police investigation. Without their support this outcome would not have been possible.”
CCTV footage was obtained from the buses and Makanjuola was identified by the investigation team and Safer Transport Team officers
A number of the victims were able to recognise Makanjuola during the course of formal identification parades.
Detective Superintendent Andy Cox, lead investigator for transport network crime across London, said: "We are focused on targeting prolific criminals like Makanjuola who target and prey on the most vulnerable commuters. Through extensive CCTV coverage across the transport network we are able to identify and bring to justice offenders. My thanks to Detective Sergeant Eddie Coleman who comprehensively and meticulously investigated this matter leading to the conviction of Makanjuola for so many serious offences."
The court also heard that Makanjuola is currently serving a sentence for similar offences which she committed last year in the Hackney area. She was imprisoned for two years.