A blind BBC journalist fends off a thief who snatched a mobile phone during an early morning robbery in central London.
News correspondent Sean Dilley was near the BBC’s New Broadcasting House shortly before 6am on Tuesday when a man on a bicycle grabbed his iPhone from his hand.
But the quick-witted Mr. Dilly “jumped” on the perpetrator, detained him, and retrieved his cell phone.
Dilly shared a photo of the calves grazing after the incident on Twitter, writing:
“The wrong blind man is the wrong day,” he added. “I jumped on him, was safely restrained, and got my phone back.
“I had quite a few cuts and bruises, but I muttered on the phone he stole (and I recovered).”
Police were called to the scene around 6 a.m. Tuesday on Bolsover Street on W1, but by the time officers arrived, the robber had fled the scene.
Scotland Yard said: “The suspect was briefly detained by the victim and the phone was recovered. The suspect then left the scene in the direction of Greenwell Street before police arrived.
“Investigations are underway to find them.”
Dilley, project leader for the BBC’s Reframing Disorders Program, added on Twitter:
In response to one user who said, “I don’t know how the heck I managed to do this when I’m blind,” he wrote that “very noisy bike, very fast, reflexes and adrenaline” helped and left him “out of breath.” The thief made the perfect audio target.”
He said he “used only low and reasonable force” to restrain the robbers, adding that “it was instinctive and definitely not brave”.
Mobile phone robbery is a big problem in London, where crime has increased by about 21% in the year to September, according to Metropolitan Police figures.
There were 8,972 cell phone robberies in the 12 months to September, compared to 7,423 in 2021.
In October, City Broker Henry Charlton-Weedy, 35, tried to stop a phone robbery in Bishopsgate after he and two others were slashed by balaclava-wearing thugs. , required 52 stitches on the face.
Anyone with information about what happened to Mr. Dilly, or who saw suspicious activity in the area around the time of Tuesday’s incident, is urged to call 101, citing CAD 1115/27Dec. is requested.