Moped thieves who took £ 22,000 cash box from Sainsbury’s face a total of 18 years in prison

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Two moped thieves who stole over £ 40,000 in cash and perfume in a series of robberies in London’s West End have been jailed.

Alfie Atherton, 29, and Reed Roberts, 30, targeted different companies between January 29 and March 3 last year.

The pair used stolen mopeds with fake number plates and hid their identity with full-face motorcycle helmets and high-vis jackets to carry out raids across the capital.

On Friday, Atherton was sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison in Snaresbrook Crown Court, while Roberts was imprisoned for seven years and six months.

At a previous hearing, Atherton pleaded guilty to twice theft, twice attempted burglary, and one possession of a bladed item in a public place, while Roberts pleaded guilty to two thefts.

Alfie Atherton (pictured) has been sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison after pleading guilty to two robbery, twice attempted burglary and once in possession of an object with a knife.

Alfie Atherton (pictured) has been sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison after pleading guilty to two robbery, twice attempted burglary and once in possession of an object with a knife.

Reed Roberts, 30, was jailed for seven years and six months after pleading guilty to two robberies

Reed Roberts, 30, was jailed for seven years and six months after pleading guilty to two robberies

Reed Roberts, 30, was jailed for seven years and six months after pleading guilty to two robberies

The pair were convicted after an investigation by the Flying Squad of the Metropolitan Police Service.

Detective Constable Lenny O’Keeffe, the investigating officer, said: “Atherton and Roberts caused chaos in the West End, even threatening and using violence in their attempt to steal cash and valuables.

In fact, Atherton caused more than £ 45,000 in damage to two stores when he tried to steal even more expensive goods.

“They soon discovered that crime doesn’t pay, and thanks to the Flying Squad’s investigative work, they spend a long period behind bars instead.” ‘

On February 1, 2020, a cash delivery was about to be made at a supermarket in Clerkenwell Road when the security guard was confronted by a man wearing a fluorescent yellow jacket and black motorcycle helmet, who attacked his arms and forced the victim free the cash box to give. .

The suspect grabbed the cash box and jumped on a nearby moped that was waiting, which took off at high speed. The moped driver was wearing a green jacket with a lighter colored logo on the wrist.

A witness later saw two men breaking open the money box with an angle grinder on nearby Marjery Street. The suspects were given access to the box, which contained £ 22,000. They took the money, left the box and drove off on the moped.

Detectives from the Flying Squad began the investigation and made numerous inquiries, including CCTV, and followed the moped to a closed parking garage in Flaxman Terrace.

The pair were seen in convoy in two different cars, a Nissan Qashqai and a Vauxhall Astra, before donning their disguises and taking off on the two-wheeled machine.

Detectives had linked the crime to a smash and grab robbery at a luxury department store on Marlborough Street, W1B three days earlier.

At around 1:15 am on January 29, 2020, two men on a moped threw a large concrete slab through a window of the shop – costing more than £ 1,000 to fix.

One of the suspects – later identified as Atherton – climbed through the hole and filled a very large, white debris bag with over £ 20,500 worth of a high-end brand of perfume and aftershave. He was wearing a black full-face helmet, a blue top, black waterproof pants, and black gloves.

When he left the room and dragged the bag to the moped, he was confronted by a security guard of the store. Atherton then took out a large ‘Rambo’ style knife and said “come back or I’ll stab you.”

The thieves made their way down Carnaby Street, where they decanted some stolen products and dropped the knife.

They were again seen on CCTV as they entered the parking lot in Flaxman Terrace.

Footage from the Metropolitan Police showed the couple putting items from the perfume shop in a large white bag

Footage from the Metropolitan Police showed the couple putting items from the perfume shop in a large white bag

Footage from the Metropolitan Police showed the couple putting items from the perfume shop in a large white bag

They were confronted by a security guard who was threatened with a large 'Rambo knife' by Atherton and told him to come back or he would be stabbed

They were confronted by a security guard who was threatened with a large 'Rambo knife' by Atherton and told him to come back or he would be stabbed

They were confronted by a security guard who was threatened with a large ‘Rambo knife’ by Atherton and told him to come back or he would be stabbed

After further investigation, detectives also linked Atherton to two attempted burglaries at designer stores on New Bond Street in the early hours of March 3, 2020.

At around 1:40 a.m. on March 3, 2020, four suspects were seen riding three mopeds down New Bond Street. The mopeds approached a design store and one of the bicycles rammed the front door, breaking the door.

The moped constantly rammed the security hatch, but the suspects were unable to enter. The moped was left in the doorway and the suspects drove in the wrong direction along New Bond Street.

Shortly afterwards, the suspects approached another designer store and tried to smash the glass windshield with a concrete block. However, the suspects were forced to flee when a guard in the road turned his vehicle over in one of the bikes, breaking some of the bike’s body or plastic covering. The debris from the moped was later confiscated by the police.

The moped is seen outside the perfume store after the burglary footage released by the Metropolitan Police

The moped is seen outside the perfume store after the burglary footage released by the Metropolitan Police

The moped is seen outside the perfume store after the burglary footage released by the Metropolitan Police

CCTV footage captured a man – later identified as Atherton – wearing a white motorcycle helmet in the Flaxman Terrace parking lot. Later he drove off on a moped. After the incident, the moped returned to the parking lot in Flaxman Terrace, driven by Atherton – who was wearing the white helmet.

Damage to the two designer shops totaled more than £ 45,000.

After gathering sufficient evidence, Flying Squad investigators arrested Atherton and Roberts at their home address on June 11, 2020.

The knife recovered from the crime scene and was dropped on Carnaby Street after being used to threaten a store guard

The knife recovered from the crime scene and was dropped on Carnaby Street after being used to threaten a store guard

The knife recovered from the crime scene and was dropped on Carnaby Street after being used to threaten a store guard

When detectives searched Roberts’ address, they found the clothes the suspect was wearing in the store of the ‘smash and grab’ robbery on January 29, 2020, as well as the fluorescent jacket and black motorcycle helmet that the suspect had worn in cash during the transport. . robbery on 1 February 2020 and the green jacket worn by the fleeing moped rider. Detectives also found six bottles of the same brand of aftershave stolen during the department store robbery.

The Qashqai captured on CCTV was also registered to Roberts. When officers searched the vehicle, they found a number of cutting wheels – such as those used in angle grinders – in the trunk.

Forensic evidence also linked Atherton to the concrete block thrown through the department store window on January 29, 2020, and to the ‘Rambo’ knife used in the robbery dropped on Carnaby Street.

The court heard that the parking lot in Flaxman Terrace was the ‘gathering place’ that Atherton and Roberts used before and after each offense. Neither of them lived at the address and could not explain why they had access to the parking lot.

Atherton and Roberts were both charged on June 12, 2020 and were convicted as above.

The court has learned that both defendants have previous convictions for smash and grab robberies in the West End.