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Islington pair guilty as part of smash and grab spree gang

PUBLISHED: 12:53 08 July 2015 | UPDATED: 12:53 08 July 2015

Danny St Luce

Danny St Luce

Archant

The two men were involved in separate raids, each with a haul of about £300,000

Patrick Spencer O'Brien Patrick Spencer O'Brien

Two smash and grab thieves from Islington have pleaded guilty to their part in separate high profile robberies.

Danny St Luce and Patrick Spencer O’Brien each took part in one of a string of 10 raids across the capital involving members of the same gang.

St Luce, 29, of Prebend Street, was one of four robbers who broke into jewellery store Maplin and Webb in the City, making off with more than £300,000 worth of watches in April last year.

O’Brien, 23, of Arlington Square, was part of a gang armed with an axe and a sledgehammer that escaped with a £288,000 jewellery haul from the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge in February 2014.

Other high profile robberies linked to these thefts, through goods handlers Reece Dunford and Yair Cohen, include the famous burkha Selfridges smash and grab in June 2013 which saw a haul of £1.5million.

At the Maplin and Webb raid St Luce waited outside while gang leader Vincent Kamara entered the store with Boz Burbridge and David Mays who were armed with a sledgehammer and an axe.

They threatened terrified members of staff before Kamara directed Burbridge and Mays towards the shop displays with the most valuable watches. They smashed through the glass cabinets and made off with a large number ofRolex watches, leaving the sledgehammers and axe behind at the scene.

The watches were dropped off at a house linked to the gang in Islington but less than three hours later, detectives from the Met’s Flying Squad swooped on the address.

In the living room, they caught ring-leaders Dunford, 31, of Waltham Abbey, Essex and Cohen, 71, of Woodmill Road, Hackney, red-handed, surrounded by the stolen watches with the price tags still attached.

St Luce, Mayes, 33, of Chessington Avenue, Bexleyheath and Burbridge, 31, of Calthorpe Street, Camden, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob Mappin and Webb.

Kamara, 28. of Endsleight Street, Camden was found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery.

O’Brien was found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery.

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