‘Old men’ robbers jailed for 60 years

A gang of armed robbers in south London – responsible for a series of bank jobs spanning more than a decade – have been jailed for a total of 62 years.

The three men, who wore masks of old men to disguise themselves, targeted banks throughout the capital since 2000.

Detectives claimed the group members were highly organised, involving staking out their target for up to a year, stealing getaway cars weeks in advance and completing dry runs.

On the robbery day, the armed gang would break in through the rear entrance of the banks. They would then wait for the ATM cash delivery.

Disguised, they would attack the guards with guns and knives, cable tie their arms and legs, and flee with the cash.

The gang was finally caught following an operation involving 60 police officers at a bank in North Cheam.

Over the years, instances of bank break-ins have generally fallen as security shutters, window grills and other precautions have got better. However, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Johnson was quick to praise the team responsible for catching the criminals, saying:

“If it hadn’t been for the tenacity of my officers, this team would have continued to carry out armed robberies for many more years to come.”

The group members were found guilty of numerous crimes earlier in October, where they admitted to robbery and possessing imitation firearms, amongst other charges. They were sentenced at the end of the month.

Emmet Wynne, 48 and Ian Knight, 51, were sentenced to 20 years. Robert Hall, 48, was ordered to serve 22 years.

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