International Teamwork Lands Jewellery Thieves 92 Years in Jail


Janno Heinola, the ninth member of an international gang of jewellery thieves who targeted high-end jewellery stores across the North of England and the West Midlands has been jailed for nine years today for robbery and possession of an imitation firearm.

This brings the total UK jail terms of the Estonian-based gang, whose members have committed a string of similar offences across Europe, to 92 years.

The estimated total value of the jewellery, mainly expensive watches, stolen in a series of armed robberies between 2005 and 2007 comes to over £2.5 million.
Clare Stevens, Crown Advocate in CPS Yorkshire and Humbersides Complex Casework Unit has been involved with this case from the outset, advising the police at the initial stages,  taking the necessary steps to secure the extradition of the defendants from four different countries and then prosecuting six of the nine cases herself.

Clare said:

 "These were violent robberies committed in a series of audacious and carefully planned armed raids.

"The crimes were calculated and carefully targeted and took place in broad daylight leaving employees and customers terrified, and shop owners facing many thousands of pounds worth of losses.

"The defendants flew to England from Estonia, committed the offences, and then returned to mainland Europe. The perpetrators may have thought they had escaped justice by leaving the country - but they were wrong.

"This case has involved a considerable amount of detailed international liaison first to facilitate the police investigation, and then to extradite the suspects when DNA evidence, linking the suspects to the scenes had been obtained.

"We've worked closely with West Yorkshire Police throughout and todays sentencing brings this long and complex case to a conclusion. It sends out a strong message that crimes such as this will not be tolerated. Dangerous perpetrators of violent crimes such as this will be pursued relentlessly and brought to justice to face the full force of the law."