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Man jailed over Regent Street jewellery store moped raid

A gang of six men on three mopeds and a motorbike armed with sledgehammers and knives targeted a Watches of Switzerland store in Regent Street.

A moped robber who targeted a jewellers in Regent Street has been sentenced to eight years in jail.

Jamie Farrell, 31, of Islington, north London, was among a gang of six men on three mopeds and a motorbike armed with sledgehammers and knives who arrived at a Watches of Switzerland store in Regent Street on June 5 at 10.20am, Scotland Yard said.

Five display cabinets were attacked and dozens of Rolex watches were stolen in the raid in the busy central London shopping district, but Farrell was arrested after being chased by members of the public as he tried to flee.

Scotland Yard said he was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court in London to eight years for conspiracy to rob and two years for possession of the offensive weapon, with all sentences to be served concurrently.

He had pleaded guilty to both charges.

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A scooter inside Watches of Switzerland on London’s Regent Street (John Stillwell/PA)

The Metropolitan Police, who described it as a “brazen robbery”, are still hunting Farrell’s five fellow robbers who escaped from the scene.

Scotland Yard said one moped was driven through the shop doors, forcing them open and preventing them from being closed by security staff.

Then three men wearing black crash helmets attacked the display cases with sledgehammers, targeting the ones that contained Rolex watches.

The other three men who stayed outside, including one on a high-powered motorbike, were armed with knives to ward off security staff and members of the public.

The robbers attacked the display cabinets and then set off the internal security smoke alarm before fleeing in different directions but a passing police unit saw what was happening and chased after them.

Farrell was chased and monitored by members of the public before being detained by police officers in Heddon Street.

He was seen to abandon various items including a pair of gloves, a crash helmet and a bag full of 11 Rolex watches as he ran.

Forensic analysis of these watches and the gloves had traces of Farrell’s blood, Scotland Yard said.

Police later recovered a further six Rolex watches from an address in Islington, near to where a moped had been abandoned, in total recovering £309,350 of stolen property belonging to Watches of Switzerland.

After sentencing on Monday, Detective Constable Phelim Redmond, of the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “Farrell was among a group of men who carried out a brazen robbery at a jewellers in the centre of London.

“I would like to thank the members of the public who helped identify Farrell and the items of clothing and stolen goods he had discarded as he fled the scene.

“Officers have recovered 17 out of the 29 watches stolen, worth more than £300,000. However, the damage to the store, including the cabinets destroyed is estimated to be in the region of £100,000.

“The Met is committed to disrupting and detaining anyone involved in moped crimes. The investigation is still ongoing in this case to identify and arrest the other five men involved in this crime.”

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