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Hotel and jewellery heist gang face jail

By Rachael Burnett

Published 08/05/2015

Five members of a moped robbery gang who stole around £335,000 worth of jewellery in a spree of smash-and-grab raids are facing jail.

The raiders targeted exclusive hotels and jewellers in London's Chelsea area using sledgehammers and even a breezeblock to smash their way in.

Five of them were convicted at Kingston Crown Court of taking part in the attacks, a Scotland Yard spokesman said. They will be sentenced today.

The first heist was carried out at the five-star Dorchester hotel on June 10 last year.

Six masked men pulled up on scooters and three smashed their way in before grabbing £120,000 of jewellery from display cabinets.

The raiders struck again in a similar attack on the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel, Chelsea, on July 7.

This time they made off with more than £65,000 of watches.

Three days later the gang robbed the Dorchester Hotel for a second time and stole watches and jewellery worth around £150,000.

After two of the men were arrested, the remaining four tried to carry out a raid on Rankins Jewellers, Bethnal Green, on July 22.

The next day they tried to smash into L'Atelier Parmigiani watchmakers in Mayfair.

Detective Constable Martin Lappin, of the Met Police Flying Squad, said: "I have no doubt that had we not apprehended these men when we did, they would have continued to commit further offences."

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