Moped rider mounts pavement in Hornchurch town centre and snatches handbag from 17-year-old girl

Where the theft took place in High Street, Hornchurch. Picture: Google Maps.

Where the theft took place in High Street, Hornchurch. Picture: Google Maps. - Credit: Archant

A “distraught” 17-year-old wants to send out a warning after she was a victim of a terrifying afternoon bag snatch.

Summer Le Conte, 17, had her handbag taken on Friday while walking down High Street, Hornchurch, at 4.45pm.

The teenager had just visited the post office after a completing a day of work experience.

She was walking to her grandad’s car just down the road when she suddenly heard an engine revving behind her.

“He drove up slowly behind me as I didn’t hear him,” Summer said.

“All of a sudden I heard the start of his moped and then there was a violent yank on my arm to notice he’s snatched my bag.

“I ran after him and got in my grandad’s car and tried to chase them but we couldn’t find them.”

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Summer now wants others to be aware after being left shaken by the ordeal.

“It took me hours to get to sleep on Friday, any engine sound or a random car outside now makes me nervous,” she added.

“I actually don’t know how they can sleep at night picking on vulnerable people.

“I want others to know what happened so they can’t get away with it again.”

After the theft happened, Summer took to Facebook to tell people of what had happened to her.

Within 15 minutes she received a message from someone else who had witnessed two moped riders attempting to take a man’s laptop bag outside Gidea Park Station earlier that afternoon.

She believes the duo targeted her after she noticed them slowly driving close to the post office before entering.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Police were called to High Street, Hornchurch, at around 4.45pm on Friday to a report of a theft.

“The victim, a 17-year-old female, was walking along High Street when an unknown suspect on a moped snatched her handbag.

“The suspect then made off in the company of another moped rider.”

No arrests have been made. Enquiries continue.