Porsche car parts gang locked up for more than 50 years over violent armed robbery of Leeds garage owner
Five people who plotted violent robbery at a Leeds garage in which parts for a rare Porsche sports car were stolen have been jailed for a total of more than 50 years.
A garage owner was tied-up, pistol whipped, hit with a machete and told he would be shot during the targeted raid worth around £140,000.
Detectives launched a complex investigation to track down those involved, including locating and extraditing ringleader Owen Walcott back to the UK from Bulgaria where he was in hiding.
Operation Axleford was launched in response the armed robbery at a business in Water Lane, Holbeck, which specialises in the repair of heavily-damaged, high-value
At the time of the robbery in September 2015, the business owner had been completing the repair of a red Porsche Carrera GT, valued between
£600,000 and £800,000.
A man called Fazal Wahseem, who he had previously done work for, had taken ownership of a number of parts for the car in settlement of a debt owed by the
Wahseem and another man, later identified as Walcott, visited the premises earlier that month to arrange to sell those parts to the car’s existing owner.
The offer was declined but during their time at the garage they became aware of where Porsche parts were being stored out of view at the business.
Shortly after 3.30pm on Saturday, September 26, two other men, Mark Davis and Kai Kennedy, visited the workshop and asked about the cost of a car repair.
They returned to a white van parked nearby, which was seen on CCTV driving back and forth waiting for the area to clear of other people.
The van then reversed up to the roller door of the unit and the two men entered and confronted the victim.
One aimed a revolver at his head and threatened him demanding “the red parts”.
The victim was pushed back onto an office chair and his hands were bound with cable ties.
While the two robbers returned to the workshop the victim tried to escape but was threatened with being shot and was grabbed and forced back into the office.
He was pistol whipped about the head causing injuries and was struck with a machete causing a deep laceration to his left side.
When the victim was hit with the gun, bullets fell from the weapon onto the floor.
He was duct taped to gag and blindfold him and taped to the chair.
The pair then loaded Porsche Carrera GT parts, worth £140,000, into the van and left the scene.
The victim managed to free himself from the chair and raise the alarm with a member of staff at a neighbouring business who contacted the police and ambulance service.
He needed stitches to the wound to his side and other treatment for the injuries to his head.
Enquiries by detectives showed the white transit van on CCTV had distinctive marks on the roof.
The vehicle, which was later recovered in Manchester, was found to have been on false plates at the time of the offence.
It was picked up by cameras on the M62 westbound after the robbery bearing its correct registration.
The was circulated on police systems and was stopped days later.
It was found to be a hire vehicle being driven by people unconnected to the incident.
Further enquiries showed the van had been hired on the day of the robbery by Owen Walcott.
An expert in vehicle identification confirmed that it was the same vehicle as shown on the CCTV from the scene of the robbery.
Checks with the van hire firm identified Walcott who had initially turned down a more identifiable sign-written van and waited for a plain one to become available.
Phone enquiries showed a number linked to Walcott had contacted a Porsche garage in Manchester just days after the robbery.
The caller had asked for prices for numerous Porsche Carrera GT parts and the dealership was able to provide officers with a full list of those due to the type of car
being relatively unique.
This matched the list of items stolen in the robbery.
Further enquiries linked Walcott and Wahseem to the offence along with Walcott’s brother Harry Mahoney.
They were arrested in December 2015 on suspicion of conspiracy to commit robbery.
Additional work by detectives linked three others, Jenna Davies, her cousin Mark Davies and Kai Kennedy, and identified those men as the two who had carried out
Incriminating text messages were discovered on their phones discussing the offence. The three were arrested in September 2016.
All six were charged to appear at Leeds Magistrates in November 2018 but Walcott and Wahseem failed to attend and went on the run.
The remain five were subsequently convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery.