Police arrested two teenagers after a gang of young men snatched more than £4,000 of electrical goods from a branch of Carphone Warehouse earlier today.
Up to nine people, believed to be in their teens, grabbed handsets and tablets from the mobile phone shop at the corner of Golders Green Road and Finchley Road shortly before midday.
An 18-year-old and a 15-year-old from South London were caught by Metropolitan Police officers at 12.05pm as they attempted to escape on a bus in Golders Green.
Three of the gang fled to Golders Green tube station before jumping the barriers and running down the live tracks, causing TfL to suspend the Edgware branch of the Northern Line for more than two hours.
British Transport Police and Metropolitan Police units were scrambled to several stations along the branch but, despite searches along the tracks, no-one was found.
The gang was able to grab more than £4,000 worth of equipment from the store, which displays real handsets rather than replicas shown in some shops.
Members of the group ran in and began ripping Blackberry, HTC and Nokia phones, as well as iPads, iPhones and other tablets, off the security wires attaching them to shelves.
The mobile phones stolen included two Blackberries worth £449 and £329 while one iPad two that was taken costs £409.
A member of staff said he and five other colleagues in the shop at the time were stunned when the gang ran into the store but added that theft is not a rare occurrence.
He said: “They just started ripping phones off the wall and smashing things. We couldn’t do anything except hit the alarm button.
“This happens all the time though - it’s almost every week in the stores that display the real phones.”
Carphone Warehouse remained closed under police guard until 2.30pm and Northern Line services were resumed shortly after 2pm.
A similar robbery took place at Carphone Warehouse in Edgware on Monday but police said it was too early to link the two.