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A Tube-travelling phone snatcher who was tackled by his victim is being sought by transport police.

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The would-be thief grabbed a mobile handset from the hands of a 22-year-man from Rainham as the pair travelled on a westbound District Line train on January 23 before attempting to escape at Upney Underground station.

The victim gave chase and a scuffle broke out on the platform, resulting in the victim retrieving his phone.

The man then ran off and forced his way through the ticket barriers at the east London station.

CCTV footage of a man British Transport Police (BTP) would like to speak to following the thwarted theft has been released by detectives this week.

Det Con Jamie Holden, the investigating officer, said: “Theft on the London Underground and rail network is completely unacceptable and is taken extremely seriously by BTP.

“I’d urge anyone who recognises the man pictured, or has any information that could help our investigation, to please get in touch.”

Investigators have carried out several lines of enquiry including examining CCTV footage from the station and surrounding area.

Anyone with information should contact BTP on Freefone 0800 40 50 40, or text 61016, quoting reference LUA/B5 of 05/02/14 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

BTP is running Operation Magnum, a long-term initiative designed to crack down on the theft of passenger’s property.

As part of that, officers have issued video clips (www.btp.police.uk/theft) to help the travelling public spot 13 of the most common tricks thieves use.

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