London luxury smash-and-grab raid teenage gang jailed
A gang of teenage moped-riding armed robbers have been jailed for a spate of smash and grabs at some of London's most exclusive hotels and shops.
Five men aged between 17 and 19 were found guilty of involvement in last summer's robberies, which saw jewellery worth up to £150,000 stolen each time.
Kingston Crown Court heard they targeted business including the Dorchester Hotel and Rankins Jewellers.
The men were jailed for between three and 10 years each.
The court heard the gang used mopeds to reach and escape from their targets.
Fred Gosling, 18, of Portpool Lane, Camden, and Skye Roberts, 19, of Cubitt Street, Camden, were sentenced to 10 and six years imprisonment respectively for committing robbery between 9 June and 11 July 2014.
Gosling was also found guilty of attempted robbery at Rankins Jewellery on 22 July 2014 alongside Hermon Yemane, 18, of Highbury New Park, Islington, who was jailed for six years, and the 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, who was sentenced to four-and-a-half years.
Timeline of gang's robberies
- 15 May 2014: Theft of a scooter from Kirby Street
- 10 June 2014: Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane targeted. Pillion passengers run into the hotel carrying sledgehammers and smash display cases to steal £120,000 worth of jewellery. They escape on the waiting scooters. One scooter collides with a woman at Cambridge Circus, knocking her unconscious
- 7 July 2014: A sledgehammer is used to break the windows of the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Cadogan Place and three watches worth more than £65,000 are stolen
- 10 July 2014: The Dorchester Hotel is targeted for a second time. Watches and jewellery worth about £150,000 are taken
- 22 July 2014: Four of the gang make their way to Rankins Jewelers on Bethnal Green Road, but are unable to break in
- 23 July 2014: Police are told about two scooters heading towards Old Bond Street with no number plates and the pillion passengers carrying sledgehammers. The Flying Squad watch the gang smash the door of L'Atelier Parmigiani and arrest Gosling and Soufie. Yemande and the 17-year-old drive into a cab and are arrested
Adel Soufie, 18, of Hazellville Road, Islington, was jailed for three years for conspiracy to commit robbery on 23 July 2014, to which the 17-year-old, Yemane, Gosling and Soufie also pleaded guilty.
Det Con Martin Lappin, from the Flying Squad, said: "This was a well planned and orchestrated series of robberies. I have no doubt that had we not apprehended these men when we did they would have continued to commit further offences.
"I am pleased with the sentences that have been handed down as they highlight that armed robberies are not victimless crimes."
Reed Roberts, 24, of Cubitt Street, was found not guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery between 9 June and 11 July 2014.