Seven held after dawn raids in London and Dorset
Two suspects captured on CCTV in Wimbledon Village
Police investigating the robbery of a jewellers in Church Road Wimbledon last year have made seven arrests this Thursday morning (11 April).
Dawn raids conducted by officers from the Met's Operation Venice team, which tackles moped enabled crime, and Dorset Police were the culmination of an intelligence-led operation by both forces. The target was a crime gang which used mopeds and motorcycles to commit offences in London and Bournemouth.
The raid in Wimbledon was carried out on 12 September 2018 when four males arrived at the scene on two motorbikes, armed with weapons including a knife and a hammer, before forcing entry to a jewellers and stealing a quantity of goods.
They sealed off Church Road by moving a ‘Road Closed’ sign from nearby roadworks and threatened passersby with what is believed to be a corrosive substance.
People in the street witnessing the incident which took place ran to local cafes and shops for safety as the robbers made their way toward the Michael Platt jewellers. They crashed through the front door of the shop on their bikes and staff took refuge in a store room.
The shop is owned by Wayne and Elayne Myers who said that the thieves had threatened to throw acid in the face of a woman who was videoing the robbery on her phone.
On 14 March of this year, four males robbed Franses Jewellers in Bournemouth. Armed with bottles of what is once again believed to a corrosive substance, hammers, and, reportedly, a samurai sword, they stole a quantity of jewellery items and escaped on two mopeds and a motorcycle. No one was injured.
An appeal was made on Crimewatch last month in connection with the investigation.
The subsequent investigation identified that a further four people were associated with this gang. Five males were arrested at various addresses in south London on suspicion of robbery of commercial premises using weapons; two males arrested at addresses in Bournemouth on suspicion of conspiracy to commit armed robbery. The suspects remain in custody. Police are still seeking an eighth man in connection with the investigation.
Chief Inspector Jim Corbett, Operation Venice, said: 'The outcome of this operation is as a result of solid partnership working between the Met and Dorset Police. Working together, officers identified and arrested these violent individuals who committed these offences.
'Today's activity again shows our commitment to reducing moped and motorcycle crime, and that we will seek to bring offenders to justice at every opportunity.'
April 11, 2019