Bungling jewellery thief caught on CCTV jailed

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A bungling jewellery robber has been jailed for seven years and four months for snatching £21,000 of gold rings and earrings during a “fiasco” caught on CCTV.

Andrew Elliott, 32, was captured on film ransacking trays of trinkets at Ital Gold jewellery shop in Haringey, north London, in April last year.

He and two accomplices had struck while shop assistant Valentina Ivanova was alone in the Green Lanes store.

Ms Ivanova was manhandled, put into a headlock and dragged to the ground before breaking free, pressing the panic button and locking herself in the toilet.

The robbery turned into a farce when the defendant and a second suspect “panicked” and kicked the security door when they found themselves briefly trapped.

He banged on the door and eventually a member of the public, who knew nothing of what had happened, held the door open so he could get out.

Prosecutor Tayo Hassan told the court the robbers made off with gold jewellery worth nearly £21,000, causing £5,000 of damage.

Afterwards, Ms Ivanova said she felt “scared and shocked” and more nervous of dealing with customers.

Elliott, from Luton, was caught after police identified a distinctive tattoo on his neck reading “I still stand strong”.

During the robbery, he disguised another tattoo on his cheek by wearing sunglasses, the court heard.

He was on licence at the time of the jewellery shop raid and had previous convictions for other robberies.

Andrew Elliott
Andrew Elliott has been jailed (Met Police/PA)

Judge Dennis said: “This was a planned and organised robbery, however much of a fiasco the latter part of it turned out to be.”

He told Elliott he was his “own worst enemy”, having committed the robbery just months after being released on licence.

He said: “In many ways, looking at your past you would appear to be your own worst enemy.

“You need to understand just how frightening this was for your victim. Imagine yourself being set upon by three determined adults in a confined shop as we have viewed on CCTV.”

The judge imposed a sentence of seven years and four months in jail plus three years on extended licence.

Police have renewed their appeal to the public for help to identify the two accomplices who remain at large.

Detective Inspector Paul Ridley, from Scotland Yard, said: “From the on-set of this investigation, I advised the public that all I needed was a name of the suspect, such was the strength of the CCTV.

“This was clearly the case, assisted by Elliott’s botched execution of the robbery and his bizarre attempt at attempting to conceal his identity which included his amateurish disguise to the garish tattoos on his face and neck. This dangerous and violent criminal was left with no choice but to admit his guilt.

“While I am pleased to see one of the robbers paying the price for his part in this robbery, I remain focused on identifying and apprehending the two remaining suspects.

“The independent charity Crimestoppers has also offered a £5,000 reward for anyone who provides information that leads to the conviction of the suspects.”

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