Video: Cross-dressing robber jailed for stealing over £600k from east London jewellers
PUBLISHED: 14:30 08 August 2013 | UPDATED: 17:48 08 August 2013
A robber who dressed up as a woman to steal over £600,000 worth of jewellery has been jailed for a decade at the Old Bailey today.
Vasile Bogdan, 35, a Romanian national of no fixed abode, repeatedly used the disguise to get his gang of thieves into five shops where they would smash display cases with sledge hammers and grab the jewels inside.
The first robbery to be linked to Bogdan took place on November 25 last year at a store on High Street North, Manor Park where the gang made off with £60,000 of gold jewellery.
Detectives tracked down their escape route and found Bogdan’s clothes and masks in a nearby park.
The gang struck again the following month when they raided a jewellers in Plashet Grove, East Ham, but tight security measures meant they got away with a smaller haul worth £35,000.
On December 22, another man joined Bogdan dressing up as a woman to trick staff in a store on Green Street, Upton Park where they stole £350,000 worth of gold jewellery.
A gang of ten men, including Bogdan in his disguise, struck a jewellers in Stratford Road, Birmingham, on January 5 this year but they failed to steal any goods.
Bogdan was finally caught after carrying out a robbery in Bethnal Green Road, Bethnal Green, on January 25 when six to eight men hepled him steal £100,000 worth of jewellery.
The gang ran off into Weavers Field Park but the store owner chased after them and caught Bogdan who was arrested at the scene with 950 Euros and £320 in cash on him.
Bogdan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery at the Old Bailey on Tuesday and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison at the Old Bailey today.
Det Insp Ralf Kirchel, from the Flying Squad, said: “I’d like to thank the jewellery owner store who bravely chased after the gang after they’d robbed his store.
“This gang developed a MO that worked, and they kept repeating it stealing thousands and thousands of pounds of gold jewellery.”
The Met police’s Flying Squad is still investigating the case to find the other gang members.
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