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Gang of five ram-raiders who stole £300K worth of gold are jailed for a total of 72 years

By Madeleine Ross,

2023-03-14

Five robbers who smashed a truck through the window of a shop in broad daylight and stole £300,000 of jewellery have been jailed.

John Gourlay, 49, Trevor Leek, 44, Justin Boylan, 51, Arfan Latif, 38, and Hassan Zulfiqar, 26, carried out the 70-second heist on March 3 last year.

A shocking video shows the moment the gang smashed the shopfront of Danyaal Jewellers in Birmingham with a stolen Highways Maintenance truck, before stealing nearly 5kg of gold.

The gang were found guilty of conspiracy to rob and possessing an offensive weapon after a four-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

They were jailed on Monday for a combined total of 72 years.

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CCTV showed the gang reversing a stolen Highways Maintenance pickup truck into Danyaal Jewellers in Sparkbrook, Birmingham, at 12.22pm.

They narrowly avoided injuring a staff member, who could easily have been hit by falling debris.

Three of the men burst into the shop and one of them used a sledgehammer to smash glass display cabinets before stuffing gold jewellery into sports bags, the court previously heard.

The robbers spent just 70 seconds inside the shop before they fled the scene with approximately 5kg of 22-carat gold jewellery worth £292,165.

A fourth man remained in the white Toyota Hilux while a fifth robber acted as 'crowd control' waving an axe at witnesses before they sped off with their haul. He could be heard screaming at onlookers.

Concerned witnesses can be heard trying to capture the number plate of the vehicle as they hide inside a shop across the street.

A black Land Rover followed the pick up truck away from the destroyed shop.

The gang then dumped the getaway car in a residential street half a mile away to swap cars and sped off in an Audi.

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Detectives used CCTV from nearby businesses, along with mobile phone footage filmed by witnesses, to identify the gang who were caught days later.

Ringleader Gourlay was captured on CCTV two hours later selling a stolen bangle for £1,500 in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter just three miles away from the raid.

Security cameras show him smiling and chatting with the shop owner before walking out with the money.

Officers linked him to the raid by his fingerprints which were on the sale sheet as well as identifying him from his clothing.

Minutes before the smash and grab, Zulfiqar was caught on CCTV buying tape and pads at an auto-parts store in Birmingham which were used to fix false number plates to the cars.

Detectives linked him to the stolen Land Rover after recovering backings to the pads left inside the vehicle which were covered in his thumb prints.

The five defendants were found guilty of conspiracy to rob and possessing an offensive weapon following a four-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

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Jurors heard the gang used three vehicles during the raid, which included a black Land Rover Discovery, a white Toyota Hilux and a black Toyota Corolla.

The Land Rover and Toyota Corolla were used to block the road either side of the jewellers while the Hilux reversed into the store.

A staff member was in the store at the time of the offence and was nearly struck by falling debris when the vehicle reversed into the shop.

The five men, who are all from Birmingham, then made off in the Land Rover and Hilux, with the Toyota Corolla being left at the scene.

Footage captured them abandoning the vehicles on King Street, Sparkbrook, before getting into a stolen Audi TTS and BMW 420 they had parked less than an hour earlier.

Jurors heard the five men kept in constant contact before the raid via phone.

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Tags from the stolen jewellery were also found on the sofa at Boylan's home after the robbery.

Gourlay, of Selly Oak, was jailed for 16 years while Leek, of Kingstanding in Birmingham, was sentenced to 14-and-a-half years.

Boylan, of Shard End, was jailed for 14 years while Latif and Zulfiqar, both of Balsall Heath, were sentenced to 16 years and 12 years respectively.

Detective Constable Patrick Fuldun of West Midlands Police said: 'This was clearly an extensively planned armed robbery, with careful thought by the five defendants going into disguising themselves, the vehicles and the locations of their phones.

'This robbery took place in broad daylight on a busy street and must have been horrendous for anyone witnessing it.

'The staff member inside narrowly escaped serious injury, if not worse.

'The offenders managed to make off with nearly £300,000 in jewellery.

'However, after excellent investigative work from our officers we were able to provide sufficient evidence for the jury to convict all five men for being present during the raid.'

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