Jewellery thieves caught by police minutes after raid
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Three men who stole thousands of pounds worth of jewellery have been jailed for a total of eight and half years.
Thomas Barney-Jones, Eugene Alexander and Callum Kewmoss carried out a smash and grab at Kohinoor jewellers in St Saviours Road, Leicester – stealing around £40,000 worth of Indian bangles and a necklace.
Two of the thieves – Barney-Jones and Alexander – were caught by police a matter of minutes after committing the offence. Kewmoss was identified as the third person involved after his DNA was discovered on a jacket found next to the getaway vehicle.
Last week, on Thursday 15 December at Leicester Crown Court, the trio were sentenced.
Barney-Jones, 32, of Lancashire Street, Leicester, pleaded guilty to burglary at an earlier hearing and has been given 18 months in prison.
Alexander, 48, of Wagtail Close, Ratby, Leicestershire, who was found guilty of burglary on Wednesday 14 October following a three-day trial, was jailed for three and half years.
Kewmoss, 32, of Countesthorpe Road, South Wigston, Leicestershire, was also found guilty of burglary during the same trial and sentenced to three and half years.
The incident happened shortly after 2.20pm on Saturday 26 March, when two of the men – Barney-Jones and Kewmoss – smashed the front window of the family run business with a pick axe and hammer, before stuffing the jewellery into a rucksack and making off in a black Ford Mondeo – being driven by Alexander.
Police were called and following some swift work by the owner of the jewellers to identify the car registration, an officer in an unmarked police car spotted the vehicle turning into Melton Road.
Quickly joined by an officer in a marked police car, they followed the Mondeo as the criminals attempted to escape.
After a few minutes the car turned into Rannoch Close and the three men ran from the car - leaving behind the bag containing the jewellery, the equipment used to carry out the crime and a blue jacket which had been dropped by the rear driver’s side door.
With the assistance of the police helicopter, officers located Barney-Jones and Alexander and they were arrested – 36 minutes after committing the offence.
Both men were found in possession of gloves and balaclavas. Barney-Jones was also found with a gold bangle, which was later confirmed as one of the items stolen from the shop.
Following forensic examination of the jacket, Kewmoss’s DNA was identified and he was arrested and charged in October.
The Mondeo was also found to have been stolen from the West Midlands area.
Detective Constable Vanessa Thomas, officer in the case, said: “The three men carried out this crime on a busy street in broad day light – fleeing the scene in a stolen vehicle.
“It was thanks to the efforts of the victim we were able to quickly put out observations for the car and it was spotted by an officer nearby.
“The men ran and, in their haste, left the jewellery and the equipment behind. Again, officers were on their tails and two of them were arrested within a matter of minutes.
“Barney-Jones admitted his involvement but despite the evidence both Alexander and Kewmoss denied any wrongdoing. I am pleased they have now been found guilty and all three have been brought to justice for the crime.”