Two ‘Rolex robbers’ from Brent who ambushed victims at knife point are jailed
- Credit: Archant
Two armed “Rolex robbers” from Brent have been jailed after stalking their victims for miles before stripping them of their watches.
Darren Buchanan, 27, of Lilburn Walk, in the St Raphael's Estate, Harlesden, and Cameo Joseph, 26, of Cranhurst Road, Willesden Green, have been jailed for nine and eight years respectively.
The thugs went hunting the West End for targets, often following their victims back to their homes before pulling out knives and ambushing them.
Det Con Tony Holley, of the Met's Central West Crime Squad, said: 'Buchanan and Joseph are very dangerous men who clearly thought nothing of terrifying and threatening the victims with knives in order to steal their property.
'The fact that they planned the crimes and identified their targets before following them, on occasion a considerable distance, to outside their homes only makes their behaviour more chilling.'
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On December 27 Buchanen and three other thugs attacked a 43-year-old man who was standing outside a hotel in Fitzrovia, punching and kicking him before stealing his £50,000 Rolex.
On 9 March 2019 at 2.40am they followed an 18-year-old man in a taxi from Mayfair to Croydon and demanded the victim hand over his £6,000 Rolex as he got out the car.
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The victim told police that the suspects were carrying knives.
A month later on April 26 a 19-year-old man was beaten to the ground and robbed on Regent Street at 2.25am by a group of men including Buchanan.
He told officers that approximately four or five men punched and kicked him and then took his £7,000 Rolex.
A 19-year-old teenager was noticed in Cricklewood on August 5 wearing a £70 watch, which looked similar to a Rolex Hulk Submariner.
Buchanen and Joseph followed his car to Acton where they brandished a knife and machete demanded his watch and ripped a £1,200 gold chain from his neck before running off.
On the final robbery on August 8 the duo followed a 44-year-old man wearing a £12,000 Rolex after he got into a taxi in Berkeley Street, Mayfair.
When he got out of the car in Wellington Road, St John's Wood, he was dragged to the floor before the thugs overpowered him and threatened him with knives, forcing him to hand over his watch.
Six days later on August 14 police spotted the thieves in Buchanan's car in Hampstead late at night where the pair got out, covered their faces and followed members of the public from the tube station.
They were arrested on September 4 when they were seen slowly driving around the West End with their faces covered, watching people.
Police found balaclavas, a knife, the tracksuit that Buchanan wore for the August robberies and a Rolex from another robbery in August when they searched the car.
More clothing from the robberies was found during searches at their addresses, as well as more than £5,000 worth of Class A drugs at an address in Isleworth used by Buchanan.
They were both charged on September 5 in relation to the robberies. Buchanan was also charged with Possession with Intent to Supply Class A Drugs.
Buchanan pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit robbery at Southwark Crown Court on 18 November, He disputed the evidence of two of the offences within the facts and accepted guilt of those offences at court during a hearing on March 12. He was also charged with possession with intent to supply class A drugs.
Buchanan had also admitted an incident in Hatton Garden on April 6, 2019 where he had been arrested with Joseph in possession of a knife.
House of High Justice Grieve said: 'I have no doubt these robberies were extraordinarily frightening for the victims on whom they will have a long term impact.
'There are a large number of aggravating factors where you targeted individuals for their expensive watches.
'There was a significant degree of planning where you travelled for several miles following them to their homes to carry out the robberies.
'The sentences must reflect the safety that the public deserve.'