Teacher's terror as she fled moped muggers in Walthamstow by jumping in van

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A teacher today told of her terror as she escaped from a pair of moped muggers by jumping into a stranger’s van.

Lynne Tanswell, 38, was texting a friend on her way home from the gym when she was targeted by the youths riding a scooter in east London.

She tried to flee across the street but the moped mounted the pavement, trapping her behind a row of safety barriers in Forest Road, Walthamstow.

As the youths turned to make another pass to grab her mobile, the mother-of-two banged on the side of a passing van and begged for help.

Ms Tanswell was driven to safety  by the occupants of the van — two workers from the Murphy engineering company — after the ordeal at 10am last Thursday. 

Teacher Lynne Tanswell was targeted on Forest Road, Walthamstow (Google)

She told the Standard: “I sent a text to someone and looked up and they were coming towards me. I knew they were young drivers from their frame. 

“I knew what was going to happen and kept looking behind me as they turned around. 

“They drove all the way up the pavement coming straight for me and I was trapped by this barrier. 

“I tried to flag down one car but it didn’t stop and there weren’t many people around at the time. 

“I threw myself at the mercy of a  van and I said the moped guys were after me.

“These two heroes just let me in and drove me away, they were so kind. It was scary… it’s gone like the Wild West, those moped riders were fearless.” 

After recounting her ordeal online, Ms Tanswell discovered there had been two other similar attempted robberies in the area. She added: “It makes you feel uneasy walking the same route, you don’t know if they will have a weapon or not. I emailed the van drivers’ company  explaining what happened and to thank them properly because I didn’t really get a chance. 

“They took me to a safe space and made sure I got home all right, as I didn’t want to be followed. 

“I don’t want it to affect my life because this is my neighbourhood.  The police have got to do something about it.”

The Metropolitan Police said no arrests had been made and inquiries were ongoing.

Earlier this year, the City of London police force released a video showing how quickly thieves can strike, which included footage of moped raiders grabbing a phone in the Square Mile.


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