Nicholas Cooper successfully prosecutes Phones 4 U robbers who donned burkas and threatened staff with meat cleaver

The defendants (S & K) were both convicted of robbing their former employers, Phones 4U, Putney, after a three week trial.

On 2nd October 2012 the two disguised themselves in Burkas and robbed the store of £40,000 of mobile telephones and accessories.

They arrived just at closing time, pretending to be customers. When a member of staff approached them he was threatened with a meat clever and all those in the shop were moved to the basement.

There they tied up their hostages after securing the area and filling two large suitcases with the stolen goods, they telephoned for a minicab to take them back to their rendez vous point in Hounslow.

While making that telephone call they ran out of credit on a pre-paid, unregistered mobile telephone that they had bought specifically to plan and execute this offence. They used the mobile phone of one of those people they had locked in the basement. They then called the cab company, left the phone in the shop and left, all the time wearing their disguises, so no one saw their faces.

When police arrived they found the telephone number on that phone. An investigation then revealed that they had been taken from Putney to Hounslow by mini cab, though the driver did not know exactly where he had dropped them off.

Inquiries showed that the reverse journey, Hounslow to Putney, had been made a couple of hours earlier and the phone number used to book that journey.

The investigation took off at that point because it transpired that telephone number had been used to book precisely the same journey two days earlier. What became apparent was that on the preceding Sunday they both had attempted to commit the robbery. But had been thwarted when their taxi arrived too late in Putney, getting their after the shop’s closing time.

On the Sunday they had then waited at Subway fast food shop in Putney High Street, before calling a cab from the same firm.

All calls to the firm are recorded and details logged. The audio recording of all their calls were found. CCTV from Subways was seized and it showed both the defendants on that date. When that telephone call was made it could be seen to correspond to their actions on CCTV.

The case was developed and proved through mobile phone cell site analysis, telephone call data, Automatic Number Plate Reader (ANPR) activations and witnesses’ evidence, CCTV evidence and audio recordings, that when pieced together proved, emphatically, their guilt.

Each was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/phones-4-u-robbers-who-donned-burkas-and-threatened-staff-with-meat-cleaver-jailed-9816893.html