LOCAL NEWS: Gang who robbed jewellers armed with Samurai sword convicted


Members of a gang who conspired to carry out an armed robbery on a jewellers in Bournemouth town centre have been found guilty.

Jonathan Oriba, 27, Rowan McLaughlin, 31 and Sophie Rivers 29, were all convicted on Tuesday 29 October 2019 of conspiracy to rob at Franses and Sons in Westover Road following a trial at Southampton Crown Court.

Four other London members of the gang – Darrius Ingram, 26, Rhys Gregg-Ball, 27, Shahid Sharif, 27, and Aktil Tariq Ford, 27 had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob at previous hearings. 

All defendants who were convicted or entered guilty pleas will be sentenced at the same court on Thursday 28 November 2019.

On Thursday 14 March 2019 Sharif, Ingram, Ford and a fourth man – who is still at large – travelled to the shop on three motorcycles.

Armed with a Samurai sword and bottle of unknown liquid, Ingram threatened the security guard that he would take his head off if he did not do as he was told. Ford went inside the store with an accomplice who used a sledgehammer to smash glass cabinets. The pair managed to steal around £600,000 worth of stock.

Dorset Police arrived after being alerted by a member of staff making a 999 call, however the four men escaped from the scene on two motorcycles. Both motorcycles along with many items linked to the robbery were later found dumped in car parks in Lansdowne Road and Florence Road.

A large-scale operation was carried out in London and Bournemouth to arrest all the suspects on Thursday 11 April 2019.

Detective Sergeant Garry Knight, of Bournemouth CID, said: “This gang carried out a well-planned operation to target Franses Jewellers. They armed themselves with dangerous weapons in order to terrify staff working at the store to enable them to steal a large quantity of watches and jewellery.

“This incident has had a devastating and long-lasting impact on the store owners and its staff and I hope the verdict of the jury will go some way to help them begin to rebuild their lives.

“I am confident that these convictions will send out a stark reminder that Dorset is no soft touch for gangs and offenders. We will use every possible available resource to find you, apprehend you and bring you before the court.”


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