Armed raiders jailed after Lakeside heist

Armed raiders jailed after Lakeside heist

Armed raiders jailed after Lakeside heist

First published in Local News by

ARMED raiders have been jailed for seven years after stealing watches and jewellery worth nearly £2m from a jewellery store in Thurrock.

The gang struck at the Ernest Jones shop at Lakeside shopping centre in the early hours of Saturday, April 12.

They took watches and jewellery included high-value watches by Cartier, Breitling and Tag Heuer.

As the thieves fled on foot with their haul they set fire to a number of road blocks made from tyres in an apparent attempt to distract or impede the police response.

A parked police car was also set on fire with a petrol bomb.

But they were foiled when they were tracked by a police dog and handler who followed the gang's trail up an embankment and along the railway to South Ockendon where all eight were later arrested.

Officers obtained further evidence when a member of the public handed in a holdall containing jewellery worth around ᆪ500,000 stolen from the Lakeside store. The bag was found in a garden at South Ockendon on Sunday May 18.

The eight men, all Romanian nationals, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary when they appeared at Basildon Crown Court today, Thursday July 17.

The judge sentenced them immediately and they were each given seven years for the offence.

They were Emanoil Cretu, 26, Mihai Cuptor, 20, Claudiu-Eugen Cretu, 22, Gheorghe Rusu, 21, Ion-Alexandru Cuptor, 22, Costica Ferestrauaru, 21, Ovidiu Cretu, 18, and Dimitri Spataru, 24. They were all of no fixed address.

DCI Stuart Smith, who led the investigation, said: "This was a well-planned and highly-organised attack on an iconic site in the South East of England. The use of burning barricades and setting fire to a parked police vehicle, unprecedented in Essex, were intended to hinder the police response and intimidate officers attending.

"Not only did officers attend the incident immediately the response was so well co-ordinated that the very confusing dynamics were quickly assessed and a search commenced.

"An excellent response by force assets led to dog handler Pc Mick Finch and his dog Cody finding the direction that the suspects made off in and he commenced the pursuit down the railway lines to South Ockendon with mobile units being moved ahead of him in order to cut off the fleeing suspects."

He added: "National borders no longer stop criminals from committing crimes internationally and in the same way as British criminals commit crime on the continent here we had Romanian criminals committing crime in Essex.

"The assistance of law enforcement agencies in Romania cannot be over emphasised as these subjects were already of interest to law enforcement in their home countries.

"Whether they are European criminals or home-grown, I hope that the hugely professional and co-ordinated response of Essex police and the Serious Crime Directorate together with the sentences handed out will show similar like-minded criminals that committing serious crime in Essex and Kent can only end one way.ヤ

Comments (11)

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8:20pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Robin Reliant says...

Top Notch police work, well done and a good result, the Romanians thought they where clever, but not very bright, open borders, expect more from the travelling undesirables.
Top Notch police work, well done and a good result, the Romanians thought they where clever, but not very bright, open borders, expect more from the travelling undesirables. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 16

9:02pm Thu 17 Jul 14

BIRLIS says...

I don't understand why people risk such long jail sentences for the equivalent of a few months wages. Even if they had managed to sell it all on for, say, £400k (20% of its legitimate value) they would only have git %50k each.

That's a big "if", and hardly worth a year, let alone 7!
I don't understand why people risk such long jail sentences for the equivalent of a few months wages. Even if they had managed to sell it all on for, say, £400k (20% of its legitimate value) they would only have git %50k each. That's a big "if", and hardly worth a year, let alone 7! BIRLIS
  • Score: -4

9:16pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Paul_Grays says...

BIRLIS - are you saying you earn £25k per month.
BIRLIS - are you saying you earn £25k per month. Paul_Grays
  • Score: 6

9:22pm Thu 17 Jul 14

I Hate The Cops says...

They will be out in 3-4 years. Good luck to them I say. No harm was caused to members of the public. I think this sentence was actually to harsh.
They will be out in 3-4 years. Good luck to them I say. No harm was caused to members of the public. I think this sentence was actually to harsh. I Hate The Cops
  • Score: -21

9:33pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Fab man says...

All Romanian nationals -didn't see that coming!
All Romanian nationals -didn't see that coming! Fab man
  • Score: 14

9:37pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Robin Reliant says...

BIRLIS wrote:
I don't understand why people risk such long jail sentences for the equivalent of a few months wages. Even if they had managed to sell it all on for, say, £400k (20% of its legitimate value) they would only have git %50k each.

That's a big "if", and hardly worth a year, let alone 7!
whats a monthly wage in Romania for unskilled dregs like these?
[quote][p][bold]BIRLIS[/bold] wrote: I don't understand why people risk such long jail sentences for the equivalent of a few months wages. Even if they had managed to sell it all on for, say, £400k (20% of its legitimate value) they would only have git %50k each. That's a big "if", and hardly worth a year, let alone 7![/p][/quote]whats a monthly wage in Romania for unskilled dregs like these? Robin Reliant
  • Score: 12

8:28am Fri 18 Jul 14

BIRLIS says...

Paul_Grays wrote:
BIRLIS - are you saying you earn £25k per month.
Ha, that would be nice wouldn't it? No, but to be fair I said a few (as in a small, unspecified number of) months not a couple.

But, my point is that even if you have a criminal mentality the risks just don't add up. It would be safer and more lucrative to work, especially given the fact they are here where salaries are higher than in their home land. Even if they only do four years, that is a tiny wage (and that's assuming they sold everything and still have the cash)!

The point I was heading towards is that they can't be that smart if they think this was a good idea! They obviously have no view beyond the here and now.
[quote][p][bold]Paul_Grays[/bold] wrote: BIRLIS - are you saying you earn £25k per month.[/p][/quote]Ha, that would be nice wouldn't it? No, but to be fair I said a few (as in a small, unspecified number of) months not a couple. But, my point is that even if you have a criminal mentality the risks just don't add up. It would be safer and more lucrative to work, especially given the fact they are here where salaries are higher than in their home land. Even if they only do four years, that is a tiny wage (and that's assuming they sold everything and still have the cash)! The point I was heading towards is that they can't be that smart if they think this was a good idea! They obviously have no view beyond the here and now. BIRLIS
  • Score: 4

8:34am Fri 18 Jul 14

mikgrays says...

I Hate The Cops wrote:
They will be out in 3-4 years. Good luck to them I say. No harm was caused to members of the public. I think this sentence was actually to harsh.
You absolute piece of criminal scum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!
[quote][p][bold]I Hate The Cops[/bold] wrote: They will be out in 3-4 years. Good luck to them I say. No harm was caused to members of the public. I think this sentence was actually to harsh.[/p][/quote]You absolute piece of criminal scum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!! mikgrays
  • Score: 11

9:10am Fri 18 Jul 14

Hugh.Janus says...

I Hate The Cops wrote:
They will be out in 3-4 years. Good luck to them I say. No harm was caused to members of the public. I think this sentence was actually to harsh.
Its a pity in this world that we not only have to put up with Romanian thieves, but also scum like this moron "I hate Cops".
Not only should the sentences be double what they were given, but it should also have a deportation clause following the end of their sentences that way they wont be a bother again to society, perhaps if you feel that sorry for them, you should join them, that was we have got rid of two problems at one go.
[quote][p][bold]I Hate The Cops[/bold] wrote: They will be out in 3-4 years. Good luck to them I say. No harm was caused to members of the public. I think this sentence was actually to harsh.[/p][/quote]Its a pity in this world that we not only have to put up with Romanian thieves, but also scum like this moron "I hate Cops". Not only should the sentences be double what they were given, but it should also have a deportation clause following the end of their sentences that way they wont be a bother again to society, perhaps if you feel that sorry for them, you should join them, that was we have got rid of two problems at one go. Hugh.Janus
  • Score: 8

12:20pm Fri 18 Jul 14

johanuk says...

Hugh.Janus wrote:
I Hate The Cops wrote:
They will be out in 3-4 years. Good luck to them I say. No harm was caused to members of the public. I think this sentence was actually to harsh.
Its a pity in this world that we not only have to put up with Romanian thieves, but also scum like this moron "I hate Cops".
Not only should the sentences be double what they were given, but it should also have a deportation clause following the end of their sentences that way they wont be a bother again to society, perhaps if you feel that sorry for them, you should join them, that was we have got rid of two problems at one go.
I could not agree more! 7 years not long enough for this crime, and i would hope these scum will be deported on release!!!!!!!! Congratulations go to P.C Mick Finch!!!
[quote][p][bold]Hugh.Janus[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]I Hate The Cops[/bold] wrote: They will be out in 3-4 years. Good luck to them I say. No harm was caused to members of the public. I think this sentence was actually to harsh.[/p][/quote]Its a pity in this world that we not only have to put up with Romanian thieves, but also scum like this moron "I hate Cops". Not only should the sentences be double what they were given, but it should also have a deportation clause following the end of their sentences that way they wont be a bother again to society, perhaps if you feel that sorry for them, you should join them, that was we have got rid of two problems at one go.[/p][/quote]I could not agree more! 7 years not long enough for this crime, and i would hope these scum will be deported on release!!!!!!!! Congratulations go to P.C Mick Finch!!! johanuk
  • Score: 3

1:57pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Drunken Master says...

Why do tax payers have to fork out for them to be imprisoned over here? They should be deported straight away and put in a Romanian jail and never allowed to darken these shores ever again. Filthy Roma scum.
Why do tax payers have to fork out for them to be imprisoned over here? They should be deported straight away and put in a Romanian jail and never allowed to darken these shores ever again. Filthy Roma scum. Drunken Master
  • Score: 0

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