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Article by Piers Meyler: A 17-year-old girl whose iPhone was snatched out of her hand in broad daylight after thieves drove across the pavement to snatch it has spoken of her ordeal.

Olivia Martlew was waiting for her mother, Liz, outside Costa in Hutton Road at around 3.30pm on Monday when a moped rider snatched the phone - which had been unlocked at the time – from her hand before driving away.

The Billericay School student, who had been outside Shenfield waiting to be picked up before the pair headed to Doddinghurst, is among several that police say have been targeted by a London gang terrorising people in the borough. She said:

"I was on the phone on the bench texting mum to say I was there. I hung up and then someone drove really close to my legs, so I tried to move my legs out of the way and as I looked up he took my phone. He was riding a black moped - just one guy."

A passerby chased the rider, who paused briefly further down the road before zooming off.

There is now speculation that the gang are targeting people who are using their phones – which will be by their very nature unlocked and open.

iPhone security makes it virtually impossible to break into a locked phone without a passcode.

Olivia added: "I was more annoyed because it was open."

Her mother said: "I was furious when she told me what happened. It's shocking."

Article by Piers Meyler, Essex Live

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