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London: Man who preyed on gay men jailed over thefts

A man who targeted gay men in London and stole thousands of pounds worth of their belongings has been jailed.

Reda Zahri, who lived in the Camden area of London, admitted to three counts of burglary, one with false imprisonment, and another count of attempted burglary.

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His victims were three gay men who he befriended to gain access to their valuables. Police have expressed concern that there may have been more victims who have not come forward to report crimes.

The court heard that Zahri, who is 22 years old, struck up conversations with gay men to gain their trust. He often engaged in sexual activity with his victims before stealing their possesions.

On one occasion he used a suitcase to steal over £25,000 worth of possessions from one of his victims.

When police first arrested Zahri claimed to be just 17 years of age, but police discovered his true background establishing that he lived in Germany before coming to the United Kingdom and was five years older than he claimed.

Detective Constable Nigel Pacquette of the Metropolitan Police said it was clear Zahri was targeting gay men.

“All three of Zahri’s victims were gay men, making clear that he was preying on members of the gay community.”

“It is entirely plausible that Zahri targeted other people who, for whatever reason, have not had the confidence to come forward and report this.” D.C. Pacquette said.

“I also hope this sends out a strong message that the police will investigate anyone and everyone who has been a victim of crime.” he added.

Zahri was jailed for eleven years and six months.

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