London man, 23, convicted of stabbing stranger to death over second-hand Gucci bag

Samuel Odupitan killed Tyler Roye in Croydon in the early hours of February 26

A man was found guilty of stabbing a stranger to death for his second-hand Gucci bag.

Samuel Odupitan, 23, of Croydon, London, murdered Tyler Roye, 24, in the early hours of February 26 in Bywood Avenue, Croydon.

Odupitan appeared at Croydon Crown Court on Tuesday, where he was found guilty of murder after the vicious attack that took place minutes away from the victim’s home.

He will be sentenced at the same court on December 7.

The court heard that Roye, who worked as a hotel concierge in Stratford, East London, finished work at about 11pm on February 25 and began his journey home.

He boarded a tram at East Croyden and entered the same carriage as Odupitan, who travelled from West Croydon.

Security camera footage caught Odupitan watching Roye intently and moving seats to get closer to him.

Within minutes of Roye getting off the tram, Odupitan approached him, before stabbing him five times in the back and abdomen and fleeing the scene.

After the incident Roye managed to get to the nearby home of a friend who raised the alarm, but the victim collapsed inside the property.

One of the wounds to his torso was 15 centimetres deep and cut through his lung and aorta. He died in hospital.

Detectives believe Odupitan was drawn to the distinctive Bengal tiger-embossed Gucci messenger-style bag Roye was carrying.

Although other items, including Roye’s iPhone, were found at the scene, the Gucci bag was missing.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Crime Command opened an investigation.

Odupitan was identified from CCTV footage and on March 1 officers raided his home, where they arrested him and searched the property.

But detectives were unable to find Roye’s bag, or the jacket, trousers and trainers that Odupitan was wearing that night.

An examination of his mobile phone revealed images of knives he viewed on the internet, more knife photos sent to him by friends and text message exchanges about blades.

Officers also found a video of him driving a car while holding a knife and images of designer bags he had searched for and been pictured with.

Odupitan was also convicted of four robberies to which he pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

The incidents took place in South London in September and October 2019, when Odupitan, who wore a mask during the robberies, stole watches from four victims, including a woman.

The three male victims were assaulted during the offences, with a knife used during one of them.

“Odupitan is an evil predator and opportunist who preyed on my son for a bag," said Roye's mother, Cecilia Smith.

"He robbed my son of his precious life. He is a danger to society and has no regard for human life."

Det Insp Mel Pressley of the Specialist Crime Command expressed sympathy ro Roye's family and friends

"Nothing will ever relieve their pain but I hope today’s conviction goes some way to providing them with some form of comfort," she said.

“Odupitan is an extremely dangerous and heartless individual – not only because he was capable of such brutal violence, but because he was willing to inflict it on a stranger for the sake of a material item that caught his eye and he decided he just had to have.

"Very sadly for Tyler, Odupitan had no care for what the consequences might be.”