Birmingham Mail reports - A phone snatcher who targeted lone women using footbridges and subways to cross a busy Birmingham road was trapped by police using DNA from saliva found on the hand of a victim he bit.
Jawad Mahmood, from Hamstead Road in Handsworth, bit the 25-year-old woman during a struggle above Great Charles Street Queensway on July 7 last year as she clung on to her mobile.
He eventually prised it from her grasp but police were able to swab saliva taken from the victim’s hand that was later DNA linked to the 22-year-old.
Mahmood was arrested the following day by officers patrolling around Great Charles Street Queensway in response to seven robberies - all against women - using the bridge and subway in Livery Street.
Police were able to link him to a footbridge robbery on July 6 in which a 50-year-old woman was punched in the face before her handbag was stolen, another walkway phone snatch on June 21, and a failed subway robbery on June 21.
Mahmood admitted the offences and at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday (Jan 20) he was jailed for five years. Three other robberies Mahmood was charged with - on May 13, June 15 and July 1 - will remain on court file.
Investigating officer Det Con Alan Hands, from Birmingham Police CID, said: "Mahmood regularly trawled the area around Great Charles Street Queensway on the lookout for lone, vulnerable females.
"We believe he struck at least seven times in less than two months and, with each passing robbery, was prepared to elevate the amount of force used during the attacks.
"Plain-clothes and high-visibility officers were deployed around the scene and, acting on descriptions of the offender provided by victims, arrested Mahmood on July 8.
He was picked out during ID procedures and also linked by DNA taken from his saliva."
Mahmood left his 50-year-old victim, a lady from Wolverhampton, with black eyes and extensive facial bruising after yanking her bag strap as she climbed the footbridge steps.
CCTV later showed him pocketing two phones and dumping the bag, while the same cameras showed him pacing the footbridge several times on June 21 before pouncing on a 33-year-old woman from Redditch.
Mahmood fled empty handed from the June 17 underpass attack when his 27-year-old target, a woman from Halesowen, screamed in an attempt to attract the attention of passers-by.
DC Hands added: "A link was quickly established between the offences and a strategy put in place to catch the culprit.
"The area around Great Charles Street Queensway was made a priority patrol area for both high visibility and undercover patrols - and it resulted in us arresting Mahmood from descriptions we’d been passed by victims.
"We’d urge phone users to download tracker apps onto their mobiles which will help police trace handsets should they be stolen. We’ve seen some excellent arrests, with robbers caught red handed, thanks to tracker devices."
For information and advice about keeping yourself and your belongings safe visit www.safer-streets.org