A court has jailed two men who robbed a pawnbroker’s shop, while wearing burkas to conceal their identity.
The Daily Mail reports that Michael Lindo, 34, and Aaron Dumetz, 24, from Lambeth in southeast London used a fake gun to force staff to hand over stock as they opened up for the day at the pawnbroker’s shop in Atlantic Road, Brixton, south London.
The men forced a woman to open a security room at the Harvey and Thompson pawnbrokers in May this year and seized jewellery and cash worth £64,000.
However, the men were rumbled by passers-by – who noticed that although wearing burkas, they did not walk like women and called the police, who arrived “within seconds”.
Unarmed police officers who caught the two men after a brief pursuit were praised for their bravery in confronting them, without knowing the gun was an imitation.
Lindo and Dumetz were jailed for a total of 20 years at Inner London Crown Court on Thursday (27/08/15). Lindo, a football coach – and Dumetz, a trainee carpenter – admitted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent. They were jailed for 11 and nine years respectively.
Judge Nic Madge described the robbery as “professional” – and said planning it would have involved reconnaissance and “careful planning” to acquire the burkas and a fake firearm.
Judge Madge added that it would have been difficult to identify the robbers because of their disguise, had the public not intervened and reported the men to the police as they left the shop.
The court also heard that Lindo had 19 previous convictions for robbery or attempted robbery, two involving firearms – a record described as “appalling'” by Judge Madge.
After the hearing, Detective Sergeant Gary Ferguson of the Flying Squad said:
“The Lambeth police officers bravely followed the two robbers from the scene and tackled them, despite not knowing at that time if the firearm was real or not.
“These officers and the members of the public who reported the robbers' actions to police have secured the conviction of these men and the recovery of a substantial amount of stolen jewellery and cash.
“Lindo, in particular, is a career criminal and this timely intervention has averted a serious threat to public safety and commercial premises.”
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