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Islington burglars caged for £375k raid after CSI-style investigation

PUBLISHED: 17:16 07 April 2011

Shane McGloin

Shane McGloin

Archant

TWO “professional burglars” who stole more than £375,000 worth of jewellery in a smash and grab raid at the Royal Exchange have been jailed for nearly six years each.

David Kelly

Shane McGloin, 30, of Charles Townsend House, on the Finsbury Estate, Clerkenwell, and David Kelly, 26, of Ashbrook Road, Archway, used sledgehammers to crash their way in to DeBeers and Omega inside the exclusive shopping arcade in the City of London.

They dropped the loot in to large nylon swag bags before driving off in a high-performance BMW on August 14 last year.

Police were able to trace the distinctive car on CCTV and witnesses were able to easily identify 6t 6in tall McGloin because of his height and skinny build.

He was jailed four years earlier for almost identical raids on Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

McGloin was arrested within two weeks of the burglary and his friend and accomplice Kelly, who had only been out of prison a couple of weeks, was picked up shortly afterwards.

Both men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle at the Old Bailey and were each jailed for five years and nine months.

Two of the four-man team who helped carried out the burglary have not been caught or prosecuted.

The Recorder of London, Judge Peter Beaumont QC said: “This was a professional burglary in all its respects - planning, execution and what it accomplished, the theft of valuable and portable items worth over £375,000, none of which has been recovered.

“It was committed by professional burglars judging by your records and each of you knew exactly what the consequences would be if you were caught.

“You have been caught and thanks to excellent detective work you now have to pay the price.”

The court heard three burglars were driven to the Royal Exchange, only a short distance from the Bank of England in the heart of the City, at around 10pm in a distinctive red BMW, fitted with false plates.

The outer gates to the shopping centre were unlocked and the thieves then used bolt cutters to snap through the chains around a set of inner gates to gain access to a service courtyard.

The raiders, dressed in casual clothes but with their heads and faces masked, took £360,000 worth of jewellery and watches from DeBeers, the diamond specialist, and seven watches valued at £15,000 from Omega.

At 11.30pm on the night of the burglary firefighters were called to a fire in Upper Holloway, where clothing and items linked to the raid, including display cases, had been burnt. The fire was only a short distance from Kelly’s home.

His fingerprints were also found on the pages of a magazine called Watch World which police found at McGloin’s home and he was captured on CCTV refuelling the BMW getaway car in Holloway at 9.40pm - just 20 minutes before the break-in.

The images also showed Kelly was wearing distinctive camouflage gloves, which were worn by one of the raiders.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Chandler, from City of London Police, said: “The CSI programmes on television are often a long way from a real police investigation, but this case combined real-life aspects of that forensic analysis with old-fashioned hard work to catch these two men.”

McGloin, who has 24 previous convictions, and Kelly, who has 13, both admitted conspiracy to burgle.


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