A pawn shop owner was Tasered in the face 10 times and pistol-whipped with a semi-automatic handgun during an "unnecessarily violent robbery", a court has heard, as the gang involved were jailed for a total of almost 100 years.
A female shop worker was also stunned in the face with the 50,000-volt weapon, as around £60,000 worth of cash, gold and jewellery were stolen in the raid on Maxcroft Securities in Ilford last year.
The Old Bailey heard how David Sadiku, 41, and Kelly Day, 36, posed as a couple selling a Rolex watch to gain access to the pawnbroker’s.
Once inside, they let in Paulius Strasunskas, 27, Amarjeet Bharj, 48, Aamir Kayani, 31, and Francis Carbon, 32, who ordered staff to empty their desks and took wedding jewellery from a couple attempting to retrieve pawned items.
The pawnbroker, who asked not to be named, told the Evening Standard how he was dragged from his office with a gun held to his head.
He said he was able to hit the shop’s panic button, forcing the raiders to flee, but not before staff had been left “traumatised” and some threatened with being killed.
The owner said: “It really was an unnecessarily violent robbery, was very traumatic and has had an impact on all of us.
“They kept on banging and shouting. There was no time to fear for your life. It just sounded like bang, bang, bang.”
The gang was caught by police a month after the pawn shop raid during another robbery on 8 August, when they were under surveillance by the Metropolitan Police’s cross-borough Flying Squad.
That incident involved another gang member, Michael Carbon, 26, and the same group had struck a week earlier at a Muslim wedding celebration but were prevented from getting into the house by brave guests.
On hearing that the gang had received 94 years in jail between them, the shop owner told the Standard it was “a good result in the circumstances”.
He added: “The police worked in a very effective way and they deserve applause. The way they handled it was fantastic and had them arrested after a month.”
Sadiku and Day pleaded guilty to taking part in the Maxcroft robbery. The others were convicted of multiple robbery and firearms charges following a nine-week trial at Old Bailey.
Sadiku, from Walthamstow, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, burglary, two counts of robbery, two counts of carrying a firearm with criminal intent, two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon and one of possessing a firearm with intent to commit an offence. He was jailed for 13 years.
Strasunskas, of Clayhall; Francis Carbon, of Barking; and Kayani, of Romford, were convicted of aggravated burglary, two counts of robbery, burglary, two counts of carrying a firearm with criminal intent, two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon and one of possessing a firearm. They were jailed for 15, 18 and 17 years respectively.
Bharj, of Upminster, was found guilty of two counts of robbery, one of burglary, carrying a firearm with criminal intent, possession of a prohibited weapon, and possession of a firearm and got 15 years.
Michael Carbon, of Plaistow, east London, was convicted of burglary, robbery, and possession of a firearm and got ten years.
Day, of Ilford, admitted robbery and carrying a firearm with criminal intent and was jailed for six years.Reuse content