Four men jailed for ram-raids across luxury West End stores
The men smashed their way through the doors of several luxury clothes stores last year using stolen vehicles and a sledgehammer
Four members of an organised crime group who looted more than £465,000 worth of designer goods in a series of ram-raids across London’s West End have been jailed.
The men smashed their way through the doors of several luxury clothes stores last year using stolen vehicles and a sledgehammer, the Metropolitan Police said.
Martin Dunne, 37, Gary Lynch, 32, Anthony Alleyne, 54, Omar Bakali and Jamie Claydon, both 28, admitted conspiracy to burgle in connection with the raids.
A haul of Balenciaga and Valentino handbags was plundered from Selfridge’s on Oxford Street before the group fled undetected in a Jaguar and an Audi-S with fake number plates during the first offence on July 14 last year.
It was only after the second burglary that officers from the Met’s Flying Squad were able to begin tracking down the men using CCTV, DNA evidence and phone records.
On July 24 last year, they carried out a smash-and-grab on Celine on Mount Street, wreaking “havoc” as they stole further handbags, police said. DNA taken from a stolen Golf abandoned at the scene linked it to Alleyne.
CCTV showed the group meet in Highgate, north London, after the offence and load a Ford Transit van, linked to Lynch, with stolen goods.
Images and messages found on Bakali’s phone revealed he had tried to sell the handbags the following day.
The group was caught after breaking into Italian skiwear store Moncler on Old Bond Street using a sledgehammer in the early hours of October 9 last year.
They approached the store just after midnight in a stolen Kia and two motorbikes before stealing a number of jackets, bags and other items of clothing and fleeing the scene.
Officers conducting surveillance in Epping later that day found Claydon in a van with a haul of Moncler clothing in bin bags. He was arrested on suspicion of handling goods and released under investigation.
The five men were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday.
Dunne, of Foxes Parade, Waltham Abbey, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. Bakali, of Hopefield Avenue, Kilburn, was jailed for four years and four months.
Alleyne, of Peckham Road, Peckham, was sentenced to four years and six months’ imprisonment. Lynch, of Tudor Close Highgate, was handed two years and eight months’ imprisonment.
Claydon, of Ipswich Road, Newbourne, Suffolk, admitted a further count of handling stolen goods and was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment suspended for two years.
Detective Constable Martyn Stone from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “This was an immensely complex investigation involving a huge amount of evidence.
“The group caused havoc in the West End with buildings being severely damaged and high-valued goods being stolen. These men have since discovered that crime does not pay and thanks to the complex investigative work by the Flying Squad, they will instead be spending time behind bars.”