West End ram-raid robbers jailed for wreaking ‘havoc’ by smashing their way into luxury stores

A gang of ram-raiders who caused havoc by hitting luxury stores across the West End of London have been jailed following an investigation by Scotland Yard’s Flying Squad.

The five men used performance cars, including a Jaguar and an Audi, to smash their way into Selfridges and other designer shops, before making off with almost £500,000 worth of handbags and other designer items.

Between July and October last year, the gang carried out three raids on some of London’s most exclusive stores, causing hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage.

After ploughing through security doors, the masked men got out of their vehicles and grabbed large quantities of luxury goods, including handbags from Valentino and Balenciaga.

Gang stole items worth £465,000 in three raids

The first burglary took place in the early hours of 14 July 2020 at the world-famous Selfridges department store, in Oxford Street.

Two vehicles, an Audi S4 bearing stolen number plates, and a Jaguar S-Type, which was using cloned number plates, approached the store. The Jaguar then reversed through the entrance doors at high speed.

CCTV showed gang members driving a car into the shop to get inside

Credit: Metropolitan Police

The gang then ran into the premises and grabbed tens of thousands of pounds worth of designer items, before jumping back into the cars and making their getaway.

The same gang struck again 10 days later at the luxury Celine clothing store in Mount Street, Mayfair.

This time they used an Audi S4 and a Volkswagen Golf, both bearing stolen number plates, to reverse through the store’s entrance.

Five men again barged into the shop and made off with a substantial number of handbags that can retail for more than £2,500 each. Extensive structural damage was also caused to the building.

The third burglary took place just after midnight on 9 October 2020 at the Moncler store, in Old Bond Street.

This time the gang used a stolen Kia Niro and two motorbikes and smashed their way into the premises using a sledgehammer.

Once inside they stole designer jackets, bags and other items of clothing, before fleeing the scene.

Once they got inside the premises, the criminals stole thousands of pounds of luxury goods

Credit: Metropolitan Police

In total, the gang managed to steal items worth £465,000 across the three raids before they were eventually identified and arrested.

‘Crime does not pay,’ says Metropolitan Police’s Flying Squad

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s Flying Squad used hours of CCTV footage to piece together the movements of the vehicles used in the raids.

Officers were able to trace the gang to a residential area of Highgate, in North London, and an address in Epping.

Subsequent surveillance showed members of the gang trying to sell the stolen items and eventually they were arrested.

Earlier this week, five men pleaded guilty to conspiring to burgle three premises in Westminster.

Martin Dunne, 37, from Waltham Abbey, was jailed for three years. Omar Bakali, 28, from Kilburn, received four years and four months. Gary Lynch, 32, from Highgate, was sentenced to two years and eight months. Anthony Alleyne, 54, from Peckham, was sentenced to four years and six months.

Clockwise from left, Omar Bakali, Anthony Alleyne, Gary Lynch and Martin Dunne

Credit: Metropolitan Police

Jamie Claydon, 28, from Suffolk, was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years. He also pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods.

Jamie Claydon

Credit: Metropolitan Police

Detective Constable Martyn Stone, from the 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.”

Investigations continue to track down and bring to justice outstanding suspects who are believed to be involved in these offences.

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