A gang of five have been jailed for over 30 years after carrying out a smash-and-grab raid on an East London jewellery store.
The incident took place at around 10:50am on 9 October 2014, when four men on two mopeds drove on to the pavement outside Attenborough Jewellers on Bethnal Green Road in Tower Hamlets, stormed the shop and stole £12,000 worth of jewellery.
Thomas O’Connor, Gary O’Brien, Jamie Hull, Michael Ogun and a 17-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons were sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court for conspiracy to commit robbery.
CCTV caught two men who got off their bike and began attacking the shop window with sledgehammers. An employee activated the window shutter but one of the suspects reached through a hole and grabbed Rolex watches and jewellery worth £12,000 in total.
The suspects rode down Barnet Grove, left the mopeds at Lygon House on Wellington Row and ran on to Quilter Street, where others were waiting for them in a black Mitsubishi Trojan – owned by O’Brien – and a silver Toyota.
Just minutes later, officers from the Metropolitan Police stopped the Mitsubishi on Commercial Road where they found O’Brien, Ogun and the 17-year-old. They recovered a black rucksack packed with stolen Rolex watch stands from under the front passenger seat.
Police then compiled reports from the public to help find various pieces of evidence.
Faced with the evidence before them, O’Brien, Ogun and the 17-year-old pleaded guilty. O’Connor and Hull claimed to be innocent but a jury at the Old Bailey found them guilty on Friday, 23 October.
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- Thomas O’Connor, 23, of Swan Lane, Southwark was jailed for eight-and-a-half years.
- Gary O’Brien, 22, of Brunel Road, Southwark was sentenced to four-and-a-half years’ imprisonment.
- Jamie Hull, 21, of Tranton Road, Southwark was jailed for eight years.
- Michael Ogun, 22, of Poppy Drive, Enfield was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.
- The 17-year-old boy from Southwark was sentenced to three years’ detention at a youth detention centre.
The investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Andy McGuire of the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “This is the perfect example of how members of the public reporting what may seem to be insignificant things can actually help police crack a case.
“This was an aggressive robbery which left store staff shaken and onlookers terrified, but thanks to the quick reactions of local officers, information from the public and teamwork across the Met, these men are now in prison.”