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Armed criminals are crawling across central London and targeting rich pedestrians with knives

Police are warning wealthy people not to flaunt their £200,000 watches in public as their anti-moped muggers unit prepares to ram the criminals before they can strike again.

The Scorpion Team, a Metropolitan Police unit, are deployed in marked cars and BMW motorbikes, and catch criminals who use motorbikes, mopeds and electric bikes to commit robberies.

These perpetrators often carry weapons including knives, machetes and hammers.

Police officers who are part of the team, including PC Stu MacPherson and PC Vicky Blanks, spend weeks on courses learning how to pursue people, so that they can whizz through the busy London streets and catch them.

Officers use 'tactical contact' which means that they use their cars to ram the criminals off their vehicles.

The Scorpion Team often deal with false alarms. But yesterday morning, officers were able to intervene and arrest a gang who had followed a man in a taxi he was in and tried to take his watch.

Earlier, another attempt was made to steal a £16,000 Hublot watch by a separate criminal who was arrested and linked to a different incident in July where a £100,000 watch of the same make was taken.

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