A man from Canning Town was part of a group of thugs who carried out a series of robberies on trains across London.

Over the course of six weeks in summer 2019 they carried out 14 robberies but they remained at large to carry out more robberies in 2020 and 2021. 

In one particularly violent robbery they punched and kicked a victim in the face, all to steal a silver chain which was worth just £36. 

Four people were convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery. Three were jailed while the fourth received a suspended sentence.: 

  • Elias Angulo Ruiz, 22, of Ivatt Place Hammersmith, was sentenced to six years in prison. He was also convicted of two counts of possession a bladed article. 
  • Starling Rodriguez Jose, 24, of Kildare Road Canning Town, was sentenced to three years and six months in prison. 
  • Juan Martinez Vargas, 22, of Sudley Grange Road, Ealing, was sentenced to three years and one month in prison. 
  • Yoscar Lake, 22, of Burlington Road Thornton Heath, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years. He is required to undertake 800 hours of unpaid work and has received a 5-year criminal behaviour order. 

The group had targeted people at train stations including Elephant & Castle, Tulse Hill and Sydenham, taking phones and jewellery. 

In several robberies they ripped gold chains off people’s necks, while on other occasions they beat them up. 

In March 2020 Ruiz was part of a group found to be in possession of a bag containing two knives at West Croydon Railway Station. 

Then in September 2021, he attempted to rob a man a knifepoint on board a train between Nunhead and Elephant & Castle. 

Detective Sergeant Tulin Akdam, investigating officer in the case, said: “Criminals like this should know that we’ll make sure they face justice for the crimes they inflict on innocent members of the public.  

“This cowardly group worked together to intimidate and target passengers across South London. The rail network is covered by extensive CCTV, which we successfully used to prove that they were behind this crime spree.    

“Our uniformed and plain-clothes teams patrol the rail network every day to deter robbery and make sure passengers have safe journeys. Fortunately, incidents like this are rare.   

“If a robbery has just happened, always dial 999 – our officers will quickly deploy to your location and begin immediate enquiries to trace the culprits.”