Four men jailed for ram-raids across luxury West End stores

·2-min read

Members of a crime gang who stole more than £465,000 in a series of ram-raid burglaries in the West End have been jailed.

The men smashed their way into clothing stores last year using stolen vehicles and a sledgehammer, the Met said.

They were sentenced at Southwark crown court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to conspiring to burgle three premises in Westminster.

Martin Dunne, 37, of Waltham Abbey, was sentenced to three years in prison while Omar Bakali, 28, of Kilburn, was sentenced to four years and four months.

Jamie Claydon, 28, of Newbourne, Suffolk, was given two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years. He also pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods.

Gary Lynch, 32, of Highgate, was sentenced to two years and eight months in jail. Anthony Alleyne, 54, of Peckham, was given a sentence of four years and six months.

The first burglary took place on July 14, 2020 and targeted Selfridges on Oxford Street.

The group took Balenciaga and Valentino handbags before fleeing undetected in a Jaguar and an Audi-S with fake number plates.

It was only after the second burglary, on July 24, 2020, that officers from the Met’s Flying Squad were able to begin tracking down the men using CCTV, DNA evidence and phone records.

The group used a stolen Volkswagen Golf to batter down the doors of a Celine store on Mount Street before escaping in an Audi S4.

Further telephone evidence and automated number plate recognition (ANPR) showed that Dunne and Bakali travelled from Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, to north London in the Audi that same evening.

CCTV footage later showed the group meeting in Highgate after the burglary and transferring criminal property into a Ford Transit van later linked to Lynch.

Images and messages found on Bakali’s phone showed him attempting to sell the handbags on.

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

The suspects approached the building in a Kia Niro and two motorbikes before smashing their way in with a sledgehammer. They stole jackets, bags and other items of clothing and fled.

Later that day, police conducted surveillance in a residential area of Epping and found Claydon in a van. A large amount of Moncler clothing was found in bin bags.

DNA linked Bakali to the motorbike left at the scene, while images found on Dunne’s phone showed him to have been in possession of stolen clothing from this burglary.

Officers trawled through hours of CCTV, extensive telephone records and ANPR findings as part of their investigation.

Detective Constable Martyn Stone, from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “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.”

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