Jewel thieves jailed for 50 years after £1m spree

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Colombian gang pleads guilty to London raids across three cities.

A Colombian gang of jewel thieves which targeted retailers in Birmingham, Leicester and London has been jailed for more than 50 years.

The group of six men had been carrying out what police have described as sophisticated raids over a seven-month period during which they are believed to have stolen more than £1 million worth of goods.

The gang was caught by undercover police during an attempted daylight robbery of a man in Leicester’s Golden Mile jewellery quarter. The officers witnessed the thieves slash the tires of the man while he was making a visit to a jewellers and then wait for him to exit the store before attempting to rob him of a number of jewellery items.

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The gang had carried out a string of high-value robberies including one single spree that netted the thieves £250,000 after they stole 65 gold rings from one shop. As well as Birmingham, Leicester and London, the gang had also targeted parts of Scotland.

All six men pleaded guilty to multiple robberies in Southwark Crown Court in London and will now serve a combined total of 51 years behind bars.

The gang had previously been under surveillance and police had witnessed the men casing out jewellers in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter.

Detective Constable Daniel Candler, of the Metropolitan Police’s London Crime Squad, said: “They were an extremely close-knit, organised group who had been operating as a surveillance team, using spotters in order to select their victims and commit offences. They utilised a variety of methods, from distraction theft to out and out violent robbery resulting in injury. This was their sole means of income and, until our intervention, they had been committing violent and lucrative offences across the UK with impunity.”

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