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A gang of armed robbers who dressed in burkas and stole Rolex watches in a £17,000 jewellery raid have been jailed for a total of 32 years.

Connor Willis, 24, Anthony Wheeldon, 40 and Dean King, 28, were jailed on Tuesday after carrying out a raid on Walker the Jeweller in Dundee just before 11am on September 23, 2019.

The gang threatened staff and left one customer needing hospital treatment after the brazen daytime raid, the High Court in Edinburgh heard.

 CCTV footage shows the gang dressed in burkas entering the jewellery store. 

In the shocking clip, the gang arrive in a stolen car and King rings the doorbell, bending down to tie his shoelace to block the door from closing when a member of staff welcomes him.

Connor Willis, 24, Anthony Wheeldon, 40 and Dean King, 28, were jailed on Tuesday after robbing Walker the Jeweller in Dundee just before 11am on September 23, 2019

Connor Willis, 24, Anthony Wheeldon, 40 and Dean King, 28, were jailed on Tuesday after robbing Walker the Jeweller in Dundee just before 11am on September 23, 2019

Connor Willis, 24, Anthony Wheeldon, 40 and Dean King, 28, were jailed on Tuesday after robbing Walker the Jeweller in Dundee just before 11am on September 23, 2019

The staff member tries to slam the door but the three men quickly leave the car and run into the shop carrying a hammer, an axe and a mallet. 

In the brazen raid, the gang threatened staff and customers and smashed the display cabinets, taking two Rolex watches worth £17,850.

The gang fled when staff set off an anti-robbery fog device. 

A customer who tried to fight the robbers was hit on the head with the mallet and had to be taken to hospital for treatment. 

A spokeswoman for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said Willis and Wheeldon had travelled from Manchester for the Dundee robbery.

Willis had been part of another robbery in Edinburgh less than a month earlier on August 31, 2019.

He and a gang of four other men robbed Miena Jewellery in Great Junction Street, arriving in a car they had stolen from a house in Edinburgh the night before. 

CCTV footage (pictured) shows the gang dressed in burkas entering the jewellery store

CCTV footage (pictured) shows the gang dressed in burkas entering the jewellery store

CCTV footage (pictured) shows the gang dressed in burkas entering the jewellery store

The gang threatened staff and customers and smashed the display cabinets, taking two Rolex watches worth £17,850. Pictured: CCTV footage of the brazen daytime robbery

The gang threatened staff and customers and smashed the display cabinets, taking two Rolex watches worth £17,850. Pictured: CCTV footage of the brazen daytime robbery

The gang threatened staff and customers and smashed the display cabinets, taking two Rolex watches worth £17,850. Pictured: CCTV footage of the brazen daytime robbery

One stayed in the car while the three others got out and used a sledgehammer to batter the locked door.

Once inside, the thugs threatened to kill the shop owner and one attacked him with an axe while the others smashed display cabinets grabbing silver chains, necklaces and bangles, gold bars, chains and coins, watches, and earrings.

The value of the stolen items was estimated at around £27,000.

The robbers sped off in the getaway car after the shop owner set off the fire extinguisher and filled the shop with fog.

Jennifer Harrower, Procurator Fiscal for Specialist Casework, said: ‘These men travelled to Scotland, armed themselves and carried out violent robberies in broad daylight.

‘These were both terrifying ordeals for the staff and customers involved, particularly the two men who were attacked and injured during the robberies.

‘It is thanks to thorough investigative work and co-operation with police forces in other parts of the UK that these three men have been brought to justice.’ 

Detective Inspector Gavin McKinlay, the senior investigating officer for the robbery in Dundee, said: ‘These men went to the shop in Dundee armed with weapons, threatened a customer and staff and made off with jewellery worth a five figure sum.

‘They had only one thing on their mind, to get the jewellery and nothing was going to get in their way.

‘Despite the high levels of intimidation displayed and the clearly terrifying experience for those within the shop they were thwarted by the bravery of a customer who challenged them and this distraction allowed staff to activate the alarm.

‘This meant they made off with a much smaller haul than they might otherwise have taken.

A customer who tried to fight the robbers was hit on the head with the mallet and had to be taken to hospital for treatment. Pictured: CCTV footage of the robbery

A customer who tried to fight the robbers was hit on the head with the mallet and had to be taken to hospital for treatment. Pictured: CCTV footage of the robbery

A customer who tried to fight the robbers was hit on the head with the mallet and had to be taken to hospital for treatment. Pictured: CCTV footage of the robbery

‘An extensive and complex police investigation tracked these men down to locations across Scotland and the north of England, but I would like to pay testimony to the bravery of the customer, who was injured and has fortunately recovered, and the shop staff who were left badly shaken by what happened.

‘These men are now facing the consequences of their actions.

‘There is no place for this kind of violence in our society and we will always do all we can to bring people responsible for such crimes to justice.’

Detective Inspector Bob Campbell, the senior investigating officer for the robbery in Edinburgh, said: ‘We welcome this sentencing.

‘Willis was a member of a gang that entered the jewellers in Great Junction Street armed with a sledgehammer and axes and stole a large quantity of jewellery.

‘A member of staff was injured during the raid but still confronted the robbers.

‘Willis is a violent man and is now facing the consequences of his actions in prison.’

All three pleaded guilty to their crimes on October 7 at the High Court in Edinburgh. 

Willis was sentenced for both robberies to 12 years plus five years on licence. 

King was sentenced to nine years and two months and Wheeldon to 11 years plus four years on licence.

Source: Daily Mail UK

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