Highgate and Kilburn men burgle designer handbags from Selfridges
- Credit: Metropolitan Police
Men from Highgate and Kilburn who stole more than £465,000 in a series of ram-raid burglaries have been jailed.
Gary Lynch, 32, of Tudor Close, Highgate, and Omar Bakali, 28, of Hopefield Avenue, Kilburn, were part of an organised crime group which smashed into shops and burgled designer bags and clothes.
Lynch, Bakali and three other men were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday - December 21 - after pleading guilty to conspiring to burgle three premises in Westminster last year.
Det Con Martyn Stone from the Metropolitan Police's Flying Squad said: “This was an immensely complex investigation involving a huge amount of evidence.
“The group caused havoc in the West End with buildings being severely damaged and high valued goods being stolen.
"These men have since discovered that crime does not pay and thanks to the complex investigative work by the Flying Squad, they will instead be spending time behind bars.”
On July 14 last year at 3.30am two vehicles - an Audi S4 bearing stolen number plates and a Jaguar S-Type, which was on cloned number plates - approached Selfridges on Oxford Street.
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The Jaguar then reversed through the entrance doors. Five suspects ran into the store and stole a number of Valentino and Balenciaga handbags.
They then returned to the vehicles and drove off. The cars were later tracked to a residential area in Highgate.
Just 10 days later on July 24 the group struck again, this time in an Audi S4 and Volkswagen Golf - both with stolen number plates.
At 4.05am the Golf reversed through the entrance doors of Celine on Mount Street at speed, causing extensive structural damage.
Five suspects ran into the store and stole a number of handbags.
The Golf was abandoned in the store whilst the men left the scene in the Audi. DNA linked group member Anthony Alleyne of Peckham Road to the Golf.
CCTV evidence showed the group in Highgate after the offence and transfer property stolen into a Ford Transit van.
Surveillance observations linked this van to Lynch. Images and messages found on Bakali’s phone showed him attempting to sell the handbags on in the days after the offence.
The third burglary took place just after midnight on October 9 2020 at Moncler in Old Bond Street.
CCTV evidence showed the group meeting in a residential area in Chalk Farm. As with the earlier offences, the group turned their mobile phones off at this meeting in order to evade detection.
The suspects approached the venue in a stolen vehicle, a Kia Niro and two motorbikes. They smashed their way through the entrance door with a sledgehammer.
They stole a number of jackets, bags and other items of clothing and fled the scene. One of the motorbikes used was abandoned at the scene.
Later that day, detectives conducted surveillance in a residential area of Epping. They found group member Jamie Claydon, of Ipswich Road, Suffolk, in a van and found a large amount of Moncler clothing in bin bags.
He was arrested for handling stolen goods and released under investigation.
DNA linked Bakali to the motorbike left at the scene, found to have been stolen. Martin Dunne from Waltham Abbey was found to have images on his phone showing him to have been in possession of stolen clothing from the burglary
For his role in the crimes, Highgate man Lynch was sentenced to two years and eight months’ imprisonment.
Bakali from Kilburn was sentenced to four years and four months’ imprisonment.
Group member Martin Dunne, 37, of Foxes Parade, Waltham Abbey, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.
Jamie Claydon, 28, of Ipswich Road, Newbourne, Suffolk, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years. He also pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods.
Anthony Alleyne, 54, of Peckham Road, Peckham, was sentenced to four years and six months’ imprisonment.