Robbers sentenced for jewellery store attacks
A gang of men from Newham have been sent to prison for a string of smash and grab robberies in east London.
The seven were sentenced at The Old Bailey on Friday for what the judge described as "highly organised and very serious" attacks on shops.
Venues targetted included the Gold Box jewellery store in Green Street in August last year and a jewellers and pawnbrokers in E6 the next month.
Detectives from The Flying Squad swooped on suspects at Custom House DLR where three of the men were found with £1,300 each - money the police believes was made by pawning jewellery in London.
The incident at Green Street saw members of the public detain one of the men, Raymond Kwarteng, 21, of Ridgwell Road in E16, after he had attempted to steal £60,000 worth of goods. Fellow suspects made off with a loot estimated at £30,000.
The attack on the pawnbrokers in E6 saw robbers use sledgehammers to break into a display window and make off with £11,000 worth of goods.
The judge, His Honour Judge Wade, told the defendants: "This was an ongoing conspiracy which ceased only because of detention. The premises were targeted because of their relative vulnerability."
Kwarting was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.
Six others were given terms of between two and five years, Gary Samuel Jones, 23, of Hickman Close in E16, was believed to have orchestrated the robberies and received the longest sentence.
The group also had cash, a vehicle and other goods confiscated following the verdict.