Five jailed for cash-in-transit robberies, London

Five people have been sentenced to a total of over 20 years imprisonment after a string of cash-in-transit robberies which netted more than £50,000. The robberies took place over a four month period from 11 August 2009 to 28 November 2009.

Harold Mack, 18, currently of no fixed address, Glodie Nzau, 19, of Copperfield Drive, Tottenham, Olu Oyewobi 18, of Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, Shaddai Smith, 20, of Hatfield Road, Dagenham, Essex and Reece Henry, 16, of Fairbourne Road, Tottenham, were all charged with conspiracy to rob following an operation by the Metropolitan Police’s Flying Squad.

Mack, Nzau, Oyewobi, Smith and Henry were jailed at court yesterday

All five were sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court yesterday, Wednesday 22 December, Mack pleaded guilty to seven counts of conspiracy to rob and was sentenced to nine years imprisonment.

Nzau admitted one count of conspiracy to rob and was sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment.

Oyewobi admitted three counts of conspiracy to rob was sentenced to four years imprisonment.

Smith was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to rob following a trial at Wood Green Crown Court and sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Henry was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to rob following a trial at Wood Green Crown Court and sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment.

On 11 August 2009 Mack, Oyewobi and another unidentified male robbed a G4S cash-in-transit van. The guard arrived in Southgate, north London and parked outside the Nat West Bank, Southgate Circus.

At approximately 13:20hrs, he delivered a cash box and walked out with an empty cash box. The three men then approached the guard and after a struggle they knocked him to the ground, grabbed the empty cash box and made off towards Chase Road.

A witness saw them get into a red coloured Rover and drive away. The Rover was later found abandoned in Trentside, Enfield. The stolen cash box was found inside a laundry bag in a skip on Scotland Green Road, Enfield. CCTV footage of the suspects was obtained. Both Mack and Oyewobi pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob prior to the trial.

On 3 September 2009 Mack, Oyewobi and another male robbed a G4S cash-in-transit van. The guard arrived at a Selco building supplier’s on The Avenue Trading Estate in Walthamstow at approximately 11:10hrs. He went into the premises to collect £10,244 in cash.

Mack was seen on CCTV walking up and down in the Selco car park. The guard left the store and returned to the vehicle where he was attacked by Oyewobi. The guard struggled with Oyewobi but was eventually pushed to the ground by another male who attacked him from behind. Members of the public saw them make off in a green Ford Escort. Both Mack and Oyewobi pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob prior to the trial.

On 8 September 2009 Mack, Nzau, Oyewobi and Henry attempted to rob a Post Office cash-in-transit van. The guard saw Nzau cross the road to approach the van, as he did so he put on a pair of gloves. He then sat on some railings behind the van. The security guard decided not to make the delivery as he felt at risk of attack. He got back into the van and flagged down a passing police car. Officers arrested Nzau for conspiracy to rob and going equipped to steal. Mack, Nzau and Oyewobi all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob prior to the trial. Henry pleaded not guilty but was convicted at Wood Green Crown Court.

On 15 October Mack robbed a cash-in-transit van making a collection from Tesco’s in the High Road, Wood Green. As the guard left the store Mack ran up behind him and snatched the cash box from his hands. Mack ran off and got into a green car which sped off followed by another car. £12,600 in cash was stolen. Mack pleaded guilty prior to the trial and Smith pleaded not guilty but was subsequently convicted at Wood Green Crown Court.

On 28 October 2009 a cash-in-transit van was making a collection at a BP petrol station on Hale Road, in Tottenham. As the guard got back to his van he was attacked from behind by a man who grabbed his cash box. The man ran off with another suspect and got into a blue Nissan Sunny car, which drove off at speed along Ashley Road. Mack was caught on CCTV. Later that day an officer found the cash box in a red Alfa Romeo parked in Grove Street N18. The cashbox, contained in a laundry bag, was found to have Mack’s fingerprints on it. £14,484 was stolen. The owner of the Alfa Romeo, Smith, was charged with robbery and conspiracy to rob. He pleaded not guilty and appeared at Wood Green Crown where he was convicted. Mack pleaded guilty prior to the trial.

On 27 November 2009 a cash-in-transit van was making a collection from Raine House, Brenner Community Centre in Stamford Hill. As the guard left the premises with the cash box he was approached from behind by Mack who snatched the cash box. Mack ran along Colberg Place N16, and got into a Renault Clio. He threw the cash box into the back of the car and it sped off. £1,948 was taken. Mack pleaded guilty prior to the trial.

On 28 November 2009, Mack committed another robbery in the same car. A cash-in-transit van had made a collection at the LCC International Money Transfer, Queens Parade, Green Lanes. Mack grabbed the cash box containing the money and struggled with the guard until he released the box which contained £11,000. He then tried to make off in a Renault Clio but could not start it; he abandoned the car and the cash box which was recovered nearby. Mack pleaded guilty prior to the trial.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Corner from the Flying Squad said: "These individuals were part of an organised and determined criminal network that attacked custodians from the cash-in-transit industry going about their lawful business putting both them and the general public in fear.

"The outcome of this investigation represents a determined effort by Flying Squad officers and our partners in the cash in transit industry, to apprehend those responsible, and bring them to justice.

"The Metropolitan Police Service remains committed to tackling criminal networks which bring both economic loss and fear to the communities of London."

In an effort to deter young people from becoming involved in crimes such as robbery detectives from the Flying Squad regularly go out and visit students in schools and colleges to talk about the dangers.

In September officers visited Barking and Dagenham College and spoke to a group of more than 150 mechanical students about the risks of being pressured into stealing cash boxes by local gangs. As part of the presentation, students are shown two hard-hitting videos of armed robberies to demonstrate the violence these criminals inflict on innocent members of the public, but also the swift, professional armed response delivered by the Flying Squad.

Detective Superintendent John Kielty from the Flying Squad said: "We have seen a number of young students carrying out cash in transit robberies for older acquaintances on the promise of a few hundred pounds for their trouble. Often they do not realise the significance of what they are being asked to do, until it’s too late.

"This is one of a number of initiatives that has lead to a 34 percent reduction in cash in transit robberies this year. Officers from the Flying Squad are proactively engaging with a range of colleges, youth groups and the probationary service to explain to teenagers that if you get involved with this type of activity you are looking at a significant period in prison and this could seriously impact your future. We are actively encouraging students to speak to someone in a position of authority if ever they are approached to get involved crime."

The team has now successfully spoken to 3,500 students over the last three years with some fantastic feedback.

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