A CHAINsaw wielding robbery gang targeted Asian jewellers in a series of raids across West Yorkshire, a court heard.
A jury at Leeds Crown Court heard today how the masked gang of four bundled trays of jewels into builders’ rubble bags and used stolen cars to make their getaways.
Prosecutor Rob Mairs said: “They are not the high street stores.
“They are jewellers who deal with the bespoke and word-of-mouth market rather than passing trade.
The offences were carried out by four white males wearing balaclavas and casual sportswear.
“They were carrying weapons: pick axe handles, hammers and on one occasion a chain saw.”
He said entry was gained to the stores by smashing windows and doors. The first robbery happened at Sona Jewellers in Blacker Road, Huddersfield, on February 25, 2012. Raiders arrived at closing time in a stolen Land Rover carrying hammers. They put the gems into builders’ bags and forced the owner to open the safe.
The next raid was at Assad Jewellers in Purlwell Lane, Batley, on March 8. They tried to force their way in by reversing a VW Transporter through the door. They were armed with pieces of wood and one had a large sword. The owners managed to keep the robbers out and fled empty handed but one of the staff suffered a slash wound to his arm.
The final offence happened at WS Jewellers on Carlton Street, Wakefield, on April 14. On trial are John Boy Morrison, 40, of Cottingley Springs caravan site, Gildersome; Patrick Lowther, 33, of Castle Lodge Gardens, Rothwell; Steven Barker, 35, of Merchant Court, East Bowling, Bradford; and Garner Smith, 33, of Montrose Street, Bolton Woods, Bradford. They all deny conspiracy to rob.
The trial continues.