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Marching down the street, they look like an army preparing for battle.
But this was no apocalyptic war zone.
It was rather a suburban road where the locals - while no doubt grateful of a beefed-up police presence - probably thought 600 officers with the sun glinting off their riot helmets smacked of overkill.
Fearing a riot, the Metropolitan Police drafted in a huge number of officers and within seconds they had sealed off the street and evacuated members of the public.
More than 70 suspects were in custody last night. Officers found more than 300 stolen mobile phones.
Other stolen items seized include 120 laptops, 110 cameras, 32 iPods, 20 satnavs and 47 forged passports and driving licences.