TikTok prankster Mizzy found guilty of stealing phone while riding e-bike

TikTok prankster Mizzy has been found guilty of stealing a woman’s phone as he rode past her on an e-bike, before fleeing police and attempting to ditch the device in a bush.

Mizzy, whose real name is Bacari-Bronze O’Garro, was riding a green Lime e-bike on June 15 2022 as he snatched the phone out of a woman’s hand in central London, Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court heard.

Appearing in the dock in a black jacket and black trousers, the social media star – known for his controversial “pranks” – was found guilty of theft.

Highbury Corner Magistrates Court – London
The case was heard at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Edward Kalber, prosecuting, told the court O’Garro, then 17, was approached by police officers for unrelated reasons shortly after taking the phone and fled, throwing the device over a fence into bushes before an officer forced him off the bike and he ran away on foot.

The court heard he was subsequently arrested and handcuffed by police officers who found him hiding behind a nearby tree.

Presiding magistrate Fros Kyriacou said she did not find O’Garro’s claim that a friend had handed him the phone “credible” – which was why his fingerprints were on it – nor that he had fled officers because he was “scared” of the police.

Magistrates heard Ruby Hewitt was walking down Highbury New Park in Islington at around 1pm on June 15 2022 when a man on a bike wearing a blue tracksuit with a black and white scarf on his head grabbed the iPhone 13 Pro Max, worth about £1,000, from her hand as she was distracted, texting on the device.

Ms Hewitt said she had only seen the back of the man’s head as he rode away but knew he was black because she could see the bottom of his arms and recalled what he was wearing.

She said the encounter lasted around 10 seconds, adding: “It made me feel stressed, anxious and quite scared for my safety.”

Three Metropolitan Police officers in an unmarked police car, who did not witness the incident, later became suspicious of O’Garro, who was exhibiting “erratic behaviour, going in and out of the road and moving on to the pavement”, Pc David Clifford told the court.

He added the area was a “prolific phone snatching (and) robberies” hotspot.

O’Garro, 19, told the court he had been given the phone by a friend he was cycling with but had taken no part in the earlier theft.

He said it was because he “felt scared of the police” that he discarded the device, ran away from the officers and responded “no comment” to each question at a later police interview, adding he had also been advised to do so by his legal counsel.

The teenager said: “Sometimes I don’t feel comfortable talking to the police because of the negative stereotypes they have in the area.”

Keren Weekes, defending, said while O’Garro admitted he had been given the phone by a friend shortly before encountering the police officers, there was insufficient evidence to show it was he who had taken it.

Giving the verdict, Ms Kyriacou said she accepted the witness’s evidence.

She added there was “no mention at all of any second or third cyclist” in the area at the time of the offence by any of the witnesses.

O’Garro was granted unconditional bail to appear for sentencing at the same court on June 13.