Newham smash and grab gang jailed for Upton Park and East Ham jewellery shop raids
A gang of six men from Newham have been jailed for their part in a linked series of robbery and smash and grab raids in east London
They pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal from jewellery premises while a seventh admitted one count of robbery.
At the Old Bailey, both from Custom House Gary Samuel Jones, of Hickman Close, was sentenced to five years and Oscar Mukasa, 22, of Barnes Court, Ridgwell Road to four and a half years; Daniel Gloria, 23, of Anchor House, Barking Road, Canning Town - four and a half years; Redae Hiwot, of Brimstone House, Victoria Street, Stratford- two years; Kennedy Serunjoji, 23, of Liddon Road, Plaistow - two years and Gerard Walters, of no fixed abode - two years.
Raymond Kwarting, 21, of Ridgwell Road received three years four months for the single offence.
On August 22, 2011 a robbery took place at a jewellery shop, Gold Box, in Green Street, Upton Park.
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A suspect duped staff into opening the entrance door by asking for the time, and then two hooded suspects ran into the shop, pushed a member of staff aside, leapt over the counter and stole gold jewellery with a value estimated to be �90,000.
One of the suspects, Kwarting, was detained by members of the public as he fled the shop, which led to the recovery of �60,000 worth of jewellery.
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Detectives from the MPS Flying Squad began an intelligence-gathering operation, code-named “Saipan”, to identify other gang members.
Enquiries identified that some of the suspects congregated at a block of residential flats in Canning Town.
On September 20 a smash and grab raid took place at Harvey & Thompson Pawnbrokers, High Street North, East Ham, where suspects used sledgehammers to smash the display window of the shop, and steal jewellery valued in excess of �11,000.
Already being watched by detectives, Gloria, Hiwot, and Serunjoji were arrested in Custom House with more than �1,300 cash each.
Enquiries identified a third smash and grab at Lasani Jewellers in Plashet Grove, Upton Park, September 15.
Other gang members were arrested later.
At the Central Criminal Court the judge, His Honour Judge Wade, said the offences were highly organised and very serious, and the suspects’ actions during them were intimidating.