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30 July 2012, 15:07 | Updated: 30 July 2012, 17:53
A gang have been jailed after an armed robbery at a jewellers in Bury St Edmunds.
Five men have been sentenced today at Ipswich Crown Court in relation to an armed robbery at a jewellers in Bury St Edmunds last February.
Dean Armstrong, Charlie Kavanagh, Jed McDonald, and George Paget all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob when appearing in court in March. Dwayne Marsh pleaded not guilty at the same hearing but was later found guilty of the offence.
Armstrong and Paget were also being sentenced today for their part in an armed robbery at Goldsmiths jewellers in Ipswich last June, where a total of nearly £80,000 of high value watches were stolen. The pair, both from London, were sentenced to 9 years imprisonment each.
Kavanagh, McDonald and Marsh, also all from London, were each sentenced to six years imprisonment.
Pictured: Top L-R, Dean Armstrong, Charlie Kavanagh, Jed McDonald
Bottom L-R, George Paget, Dwayne Marsh
Det Insp David Giles, who was the Senior Investigating Officer for the Bury St Edmunds robbery, said:
“This armed robbery was a well thought out and thoroughly planned attack. However, what they were unable to plan for was the community of Suffolk who assisted in hindering and detecting this crime.”
Early On Monday 28 February 2011 a Bury St Edmunds resident noticed a van making an odd parking manoeuvre, so he recorded the number plate of the vehicle, which he would later pass to police.
DI Giles added: “This turned out to be the first piece of the jigsaw, and a crucial one at that, which helped the inquiry team get stuck into the case quickly.”
Later that morning a group of armed robbers entered Abbeygate Street on stolen mopeds and raided Thurlow Champness jewellers. The attack on the shop lasted only a short time, but it was long enough for them to remove nearly £20k of jewellery, and leave staff very shaken.
As the incident unfolded a 70-year-old man and his wife, and a 30-year-old male shop worker were walking past. Both men saw what was happening and, while they couldn't prevent the robbery, they were able to hinder the offender’s escape.
The men blocked and pushed the offenders, resulting in them both being threatened and having sledgehammers swung at them. Despite this one of the men was able to grab a bag containing the stolen items from one of the offenders as he was running away. It meant that the offenders escaped with nothing.
Detectives investigating the crime quickly located witnesses and evidence and were provided with the registration mark of the van the suspects had used. Within hours the investigation team had identified a number of suspects and within 48 hours members of the gang were being arrested in London.
Through detailed co-operation with the City of London Police, Northamptonshire Police and Hampshire Police, detectives built a case against the gang concluding in today’s sentencing.
DI Giles concluded: “I am pleased with the robust sentences handed out today. They reflect the seriousness of the crime, the fact that it was very much pre-planned, the effect it has had on the shop staff, and that it was a completely successful robbery - the recovery of the stolen items was pure chance as to who was walking past at the time.
"I would also like to pay tribute to the shop staff who were subjected to this ordeal, the members of the public who became involved through their selfless bravery, the community who assisted our enquiries, and my enquiry team who brought these criminals to justice."