AN armed moped thug has today been jailed for 10 years trying to rob Arsenal footballers of £200,000 luxury watches.
Ashley Smith, 30, and his accomplice Jordan Northover, 26, ambushed Bosnian defender Sead Kolasinac and his German teammate Mesut Ozil.
Smith, of Archway, north London, pleaded guilty to the attempted robbery just yards from Kolasinac's home in Hampstead, north west London, on July 25.
Dramatic footage showed fearless Kolasinac prepares to chase off two moped thugs — as one threatens to stab him in the street.
The video was released by police as a second thug was convicted of attempted robbery this week.
One of the muggers jabbed a foot-long metal spike at Sead Kolasinac’s neck — but the Arsenal hardman did not even flinch.
In the video Smith, 30, and Jordan Northover, 26, are seen pulling up alongside Ozil’s parked Mercedes jeep after he drove to defender Kolasinac’s home to collect the new timepiece.
KNIFEMEN 0-1 GUNNERS
Northover climbs off the moped, pulls out the skewer and jabs it at Kolasinac, who had been leaning into the jeep chatting to Ozil.
The weapon appears to strike the footballer’s arm twice. But Kolasinac, nicknamed the Tank, leaps at the pair, who are wearing helmets, and throws a punch.
Northover runs while Smith, who also had a spike, drove off.
Kolasinac then jumped into best friend Ozil’s jeep and sped away in Hampstead, North West London, in July. The moped robbers, described by witnesses as dressed “ninja-style”, followed the footballers until they took refuge at a Turkish restaurant. Smith and Northover then sped off.
Police released the film yesterday as Northover admitted attempted robbery at Harrow crown court.
Smith, who appeared via video link, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.
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He had a bandage wrapped around his head and the court was told he had been beaten up in prison and could lose the sight in one eye.
After the hearing Chief Insp Jim Corbett said: “Northover and Smith attempted this brazen robbery after travelling around looking for people to rob.
“Northover didn’t hesitate to draw a weapon when making demands — but he did not bargain on being challenged.” Both Smith and Northover will be sentenced later and face lengthy prison terms.
How moped muggers have targeted rich and famous
THE violent attack on Ozil and Kolasinac is the latest in a string of moped muggings on celebs in the UK.
Strictly star Pasha Kovalev was robbed of his mobile by moped thieves while standing outside a theatre.
Last year, comedian Michael McIntyre was mugged by knife-wielding thugs in front of his terrified son, 11, in Hampstead, North West London.
Keith Lemon was attacked by moped muggers in the street who tried nabbing his watch.
Sajid Javid revealed in 2018 that robbers stole his mobile phone as he stood outside Euston station.
Fellow politician George Osborne was also targeted by a gang that robbed 103 phones in an 18-day reign of terror.
In 2016, footballer Andy Carroll was chased by a gun-wielding mugger as he drove his Jeep to the West Ham training ground.
But it isn't just celebs being targeted – with shocking figures revealing the growth of moped crime has exploded by 1,000 per cent across the UK in the past three years.
And Lawless London has seen the highest spike in moped muggings, where over 19,000 separate offences were recorded last year alone.
One brazen moped mugger laughed as he told The Sun Online last year he could make £1,500-a-DAY stealing from innocent victims in London and bragged that cops are powerless.
The former gangster he has "no remorse" for the crimes he carried out and said he would target the rich because they're insured, adding: "They're not gonna miss nothing. Love that."
Cops had been criticised due to a widespread belief that they weren't allowed to pursue a suspect on a moped if they weren't wearing a helmet.
But proposed changes in the law make it explicit that specially trained police drivers can chase a rider without a helmet.
Specialist cops known as the Scorpion Squad now use 'tactical' ramming to crackdown on the brutal crime.
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