A salesman for American jewellery brand, Le Vian, was robbed of over £4m worth of gems after his arrival at an Ernest Jones boutique was announced online, Kingston Crown Court heard yesterday.

Joseph Savoie was targeted by thieves in a multi-storey car park near a branch of Ernest Jones in Staines, Surrey on the morning of May 13 this year.

Four men are alleged to have stalked him in a Mercedes fitted with stolen number plates before violently attacking him as he took a suitcase containing the jewels out of the boot of his car.


The haul, worth £4.1m, included the brand’s renowned chocolate diamonds.

According to the Telegraph, reporting after court yesterday, the suspected robbers planned their heist after spotting an advert on the Ernest Jones website announcing the arrival of the jewels at the Staines store in order to drum up business.

A week before the robbery, the gang allegedly staked out Ernest Jones stores in Solihull, West Midlands, and Maidenhead, Berkshire. But their movements were being tracked through CCTV, mobile phone records and ANPR cameras.

Lee Gardner, 48, of Wood Green, north London, Camilo Carvajal, 39, of Lewisham, south east London, Ciro Troyano, 41, and Oscar Hicks, 38, both of Southwark, south London, all deny conspiracy to commit robbery.

Describing the robbery of Mr Savoie, prosecutor Ryan Richter told the court: “He was punched hard in the face. It was so strong it immediate knocked him to the floor. As he lay on the floor he was repeatedly punched and kicked.

“The man who was attacking him grabbed his wrist and said ‘give me your watch’. He was wearing a gold necklace and that was torn from him. The blows he was receiving made him fade slightly in and out of consciousness and he realised he was in a very serious situation and had to protect his own life so got up and fled. He got some help from a store nearby and came back shortly afterwards to see what happened.

“He saw that his car had been thoroughly searched. The briefcase with £4 million worth of jewellery was gone.”

After raining down punches on Savoie, the gang sped away so quickly that they smashed through the barrier at the car park entrance, Kingston Crown Court heard.

After police tracked the gang using CCTV and ANPR cameras, searches of their homes revealed items the victim identified as his, as well as a bottle of medication with his name printed on it, the court heard.

Police also found some of the stolen items at the defendants’ homes, as well as recovering jewellery from pawn shops near their addresses.

The trial continues.