A GANG which accounted for more than half of London's moped crime travelled to Redditch to steal motorbikes.

The brazen gang has been jailed for a string of bold "professional, planned and organised" high profile raids across the capital.

Judge Georgina Kent told the 12-strong gang, who were crowded into the dock at Kingston Crown Court: "Many offences were committed using motorbikes or mopeds, often stolen with false number plates."

She added: "The motorbike helmets and clothing, often all in black, were an effective disguise and created an intimidating appearance. The motorbikes provided a quick getaway."

Although the majority of their activity was focused in south-west London, four defendants travelled to Redditch in January last year where they stole three motorbikes worth a total of £30,000 after their owner accidentally posted his address after advertising them on eBay.

Four gang members were caught on CCTV targeting a woman with a young child in broad daylight in Richmond.

Pheobe Ruele was walking hand-in-hand with her son when two motorcycles rode past, pulled into the road and waited for her on June 21 last year.

The court heard that John McFadyen, 24, grabbed her arm hard enough to leave finger-mark bruises and told her: "Give me your rings. I'm going to hurt your child and take him away."

Footage shows the "terrified" woman dragging her child into the road before builders chased the gang away brandishing scaffolding poles.

The judge noted that "fortunately there were no cars in the vicinity at that moment" but added that Ms Ruele is now "afraid for her children's safety when she takes them to and from school".

The judge added: "To threaten a mother with violence towards a very young child and threaten to take the child away is a most effective and distressing threat."

The footage went viral after being circulated on social media by Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden, who asked the public to "call 101 or 999 if u know these scumbags".

Taking the gang off the streets has helped cut moped-enabled crime in the capital by 52 percent in the space of a year, according to the Metropolitan Police.

Investigating officers said the gang was highly forensically aware and managed to carry out a number of raids without leaving any DNA evidence, forcing the police to painstakingly analyse huge volumes of mobile phone data to link the defendants and the offences.

McFadyen, of Feltham, was jailed for 32 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to rob.

The defendants, aged between 19 and 36, received sentences up to a total of 23 years and two months for ringleader Terry Marsh.

The court heard Marsh was "supremely organised and diligent" in rotating the Sim cards in the telephones he used and was "the common denominator in the crime spree".

Marsh, aged 32, of Fulham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to burgle.