The five were involved in the robbery at 09:50hrs on 5 September 2009. They seized £332,010 of Breitling and Rolex watches from the Ernest Jones store on Oxford Street and terrified staff inside the store who were preparing the shop for opening time.
20-year-old Anthony Michael Leader, [A], of Sidmouth Street, WC1 was jailed for four years,
26-year-old Mathew Pitt, [B], Fleet Road, NW3 was jailed for six years,
19-year-old Reed Roberts, [C], Cubitt Street, WC1 was jailed for four years
22-year-old Craig Wallace, [D], of Sussex Way, N19 was jailed for six years; and
23-year-old Kether Whatley, [E], of Clock View Crescent, Islington, N7 was jailed for five years, with a further one year sentence, to run consecutively, for handling stolen goods from a separate robbery.
As the staff were dressing the windows ready for the shop to open, three motorbikes all carrying a pillion passenger mounted the pavement outside the Ernest Jones store on the south side of Oxford Street.
The three pillion passengers got off the bikes and began using sledgehammers to smash their way into a side window. The three men were able to make holes in the toughened glass and stole 46 watches between them with a total value of £332,010. The whole robbery took just two minutes.
The men then got back onto the bikes and fled across Oxford Street, riding across the pavement through crowds of pedestrians. They headed north up Marylebone Lane. Footage of their escape was captured by an off duty police officer on his mobile phone.
Officers from Westminster were alerted to a garage block on the Triangle Estate, Islington, later that same day after a group driving motorbikes at speed had been spotted in the area. They were seen leaving them in a lock-up garage on the estate. Inside one of the garages officers found four stolen motorbikes, a claw hammer, an empty helmet bag and clothing.
Five men were subsequently arrested and all five pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court on 25 June. The sixth suspect is still outstanding.
Officers from Westminster are dedicated to tackling smash and grab crimes. Working with colleagues from other boroughs, West End businesses and the New West End Company, the officers have been leading a co-ordinated response to this type of offence since March 2009, resulting in the conviction of 46 individuals in connection with smash and grabs.
Detective Sergeant Richard Baker of the Westminster Crime Squad, said: "Today’s result is another success in our ongoing operation to tackle smash and grabs, not just in the West End but across London.
"By getting these five men off the streets I am sure we have prevented a significant number of further smash and grabs from occurring in central London and, in the process, helped to reassure West End retailers that we take this problem very seriously and are continuing to reduce the number of incidents that occur."