Armed robbers have been jailed for more than 30 years for their part in a £1m jewellery raid where staff were threatened with machetes.
Raiders smashed their way into Harrogate’s Fattorini store with a battering ram as staff were opening up for the day on December 4, 2014, stealing more than a £1m worth of jewellery.
Then, fleeing the scene at speed in a series of stolen cars, the four masked men threatened terrified motorists with weapons as they car-jacked more vehicles along Kirkstall Road in Leeds to make their escape.
Now, after a major investigation which led police to an organised crime gang operating across the north of England, two of the raiders have been handed lengthy prison sentences for their part.
“These men were connected to an organised crime gang that was prepared to take massive risks, and ruthlessly endanger innocent members of the public in a bid to line their own pockets,” said Detective Constable Leah Wallhead, who led the investigation for North Yorkshire Police (NYP).
“The substantial sentences handed out today show that county borders are no barrier when it comes to pursuing and prosecuting criminals.”
David John Patmore, 32, and Shaun Booth, 29, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and were jailed at Teesside Crown Court yesterday for 19-and-a-half years and 12 years eight months respectively.
NYP had launched a major investigation with forces in West Yorkshire, Manchester and Cleveland to catch the pair. The investigation led police to the North West and resulted in the arrest of Patmore, of Oldham, Lancashire, and Booth, of Blackley, Manchester after detectives linked them to the incident by trawling huge amounts of phone records and data.
They were also linked to a bigger criminal network in the Cleveland area and nine other people from Greater Manchester and Teesside were arrested and sentenced for their role in the network.