12 years for robbers who targeted the Midlands and Yorkshire
- Credit: Archant
Two men from Hoxton and the Debeauvoir Estate have been jailed for a combined 12 years after being part of a gang that targeted jewellers across the country.
Jamie Martin, 30, of Bowman House, Nuttall Street, Hoxton, and Dane Perren, 31, of St Aubins Court, Debeauvoir Estate, admitted conspiracy to rob between February 1-August 26 last year.
It included robbery of Goldsmiths jewellers in Tunbridge Wells High Street on February 3 and reconnaissance (missions to obtain information) at other jewellers in Stratford-upon-Avon, Truro, Bath, Wolverhampton, York and Ilkley.
Martin and Perren were sentenced alongside eight other men - six from Islington, one from Waltham Forest and one of no fixed abode - at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday.
The investigation began after the robbery at Goldsmiths jewellers in Tunbridge Wells. Three men riding two mopeds pulled up outside the venue before smashing the windows with sledgehammers. They stole Rolex watches before riding away.
Using intelligence gathered following that raid, officers began to monitor the movements of the three men and to build up a comprehensive picture of their activity. They discovered the group were using a network of stolen vehicles, including a white Transit van and mopeds which were disguised with false number plates. Officers also began to see that a wider group of people were involved in the network.
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Over the next few months the group were observed as they carried out reconnaissance on potential targets in Stratford-upon-Avon, Truro, Bath, Wolverhampton, York and Ilkley and Yorkshire.
On August 25, officers from the Met and from West Yorkshire Police, swooped as the gang prepared to Rob Lister Horsfell jewellers in Halifax. The group had been watched casing the jewellers in the days prior to their arrest, using a house in Morley, West Yorkshire as a base.
Officers arrested Perren and five others as they prepared for the raid in the back of a white Transit van which was parked in a car park in Elland, west Yorkshire.
On searching the van, officers discovered two mopeds, three axes, four sledgehammers, a machete and motorcycle helmets. An iPad recovered from another car that police had been watching contained images of Lister Horsfall and maps of Halifax, as well as web searches for various jewellers.
Enquiries then led officers to identify the four other men involved with the group. Martin and three others were arrested in late October.
‘They were prepared to use violence’
Det Cons Richard Watson, of the Met, said: “This group of ten men will now spend a considerable amount of time in custody as a result of a meticulous and skilled investigation.
“Given the items found during the arrests in west Yorkshire, it is clear the group were prepared to intimidate and possible use violence to achieve their aims.
“I would like to thank the other police forces who helped us bring these men to justice and I believe this sends a strong message to those intent on committing commercial robbery that you will be pursued, arrested and put before the courts.”