Two men jailed for £1million armed robbery

20/08/2012

Two men who committed an armed robbery on a jewellery shop and stole nearly £1millon of gold jewellery were today sentenced to a total of 18 and half years years imprisonment at Birmingham Crown Court.

Ionut Dimisca, aged 21 and Ionut Tucan, 23, were part of a ten man gang who entered Pauls Jewellers in Handsworth, Birmingham on 1 February 2012 and stole Asian gold jewellery.

Aliya Rashid, Crown Advocate from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: "This was a professionally planned and well executed armed robbery which was committed late afternoon in a busy part of Handsworth, Birmingham where families live, work and shop.

"The circumstances of the robbery were that at 5:20pm, a male member of the gang disguised as a lady, wearing a wig and carrying a handbag sought entry to the external security doors of the jewellery shop. As soon as entry was gained, the disguised offender held open the door as the remaining offenders entered the premises and threatened staff with weapons whilst smashing open glass display cabinets with hammers and axes. They stole £1millon worth of Asian gold jewellery.

"As the offenders fled, staff activated the panic alarm which resulted in the police attending the scene very quickly.

"Officers attended with a police dog who picked up a scent and started to track towards a railway embankment. A police helicopter joined in the search and located Ionut Dimisca and Ionut Tucan running along the railway track where they were arrested.

"Both defendants were also caught on CCTV helicopter footage removing and discarding some of their clothing in a nearby garden. These garments were forensically examined for glass fragments, which proved to be glass fragments from the shop. This provided the prosecution with very strong scientific evidence linking the defendants to the scene of the crime and Dimisca and Tucan had no other option but to plead guilty.

"An extensive search of the railway track and embankment led to a holdall being recovered which contained nearly £600,000 worth of the stolen jewellery."

Both defendants pleaded guilty on 23 July 2012 to the offence of robbery.

Ionut Dimisca was sentenced to eight and half years imprisonment and Ionut Tucan was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. The sentence sends out a clear message and deterrent to those who target and attack commercial businesses.