London

Royal Exchange watch raiders jailed

Shane McGloin and David Kelly
Image caption McGloin and Kelly were both jailed for five years and nine months

Two jewel thieves have been jailed for their part in a £375,000 sledgehammer raid on an exclusive shopping centre.

Shane McGloin, 30, and David Kelly, 26, both of Islington, north London, were part of a gang that broke into the Royal Exchange in the City of London last August.

The raiders, wearing masks and track suits, stole goods from from De Beers and Omega before fleeing in a red BMW.

They were jailed for five years and nine months each.

The gang arrived at the Royal Exchange in a red BMW and used bolt cutters to get into the shopping centre.

They smashed shop windows with sledgehammers, stealing watches worth up to £15,000 each.

None of the haul has ever been seen again.

The crooks were caught when police traced the red BMW - despite it having fake number plates.

A City of London Police detective who noticed its distinctive double exhaust called south London used car dealers asking about the car.

The officer found one dealership which had a acquired a car of a similar description following the raid.

They found a fragment of glass from a Royal Exchange jewellery cabinet in the car and McGloin's fingerprint on its registration certificate.

The thin, 6ft 6in tall man seen on CCTV during the raid also looked like McGloin, a known jewellery thief.

When they searched his home they found a fingerprint on a copy of Watch World magazine belonging to Kelly, who also had a criminal record.

Analysis of mobile phone signal showed he had been in the area on the night of the raid, and police found CCTV of him filling the BMW with petrol wearing gloves used in the burglary.

Sentencing, Judge Peter Beaumont said: "This was professional burglary in all its respects - planning, execution, and what it accomplished."

'Old-fashioned hard work'

He praised the "excellent detective work" used to catch them.

Det Ch Insp Steve Chandler, who oversaw the investigation, said: "This case combined real-life aspects of that forensic analysis with old-fashioned hard work to catch these two men."

A third man who took part in the raid, and the getaway driver, have not yet been identified.

McGloin was jailed for 54 months in 2006 for BMW ram raids on Gucci and Louis Vuitton stores.

Kelly was out on licence at the time of the Royal Exchange raid, after being jailed for 54 months in February 2007 over the theft of £300,000 worth of video equipment.

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