Moped thug held by members of the public after major jewellery heist is jailed

A violent moped thug who was held by heroic members of the public after he carried out a major jewellery heist has been jailed for over seven years.

Jason Abraham, 23, was found guilty of stealing more than £160,000 worth of jewellery from Amir Jewellers in Maida Vale in May of this year.

Southwark Crown Court heard he was one of seven men who raided the shop, which specialises in Arabic jewellery, armed with blades and hammers.

After arriving on mopeds they smashed the windows and seized handfuls of gold bracelets, rings and diamonds.

But witnesses helped to subdue the robbers, giving chase and battering them with an assortment of items including bins, bicycles and a traffic cone.

Carol Summers, prosecuting said: "This was a commercial robbery in which gold bracelets and rings were taken to the value of £160,000.

"The suspects entered with hammers and machetes. A further £20,000 worth of damage was also done.

"There were seven suspects on three separate mopeds. Two on two and one riding "three up", that is to say with three on it.

"The suspects were dressed in full motorbike clothes and helmets with one member in a balaclava.

"The court heard how the gang had battered down the door of the shop before barging in and grabbing the goods.

"The mopeds drove onto the pavement. This defendant tried to smash through the outside door down unsuccessfully so tried again," Ms Summers said.

"The staff inside pressed the panic button, took some of the jewellery and quickly went down to the basement. They could hear the sounds of shattering glass.

"The suspects were seen to have hammers in their hands and navy bags which they had with them.

"One suspect started brandishing a large machete towards members of the public and the mopeds are revving and driving round in circular motions to protect the shop from interference."

Ms Summers said that several pieces of jewellery were strewn on the pavement as the robbers fled the scene.

"This defendant tried to get on the back of a moped but was detained by members of the public and he sustained some injuries

"He was held until the police arrived."

She said that none of the mopeds had number plates and that all were suspected to have been stolen.

The court was shown CCTV footage of the raid from inside the shop in which the gang members force their way into the shop and smash glass cases and stuffing the items into their bags.

In another clip filmed on a mobile phone a member of the public can be heard shouting: "Quickly they have a knife, they are attacking people."

Ms Summers read out an impact witness statement from the manager of Amir Jewellers, Mr Adil Alahmady, who has been with the store for five years.

"After the incident I have suffered with anxiety and stress. I have suffered many sleepless nights," he said.

"The robbery has affected my business – £160,000 was stolen, but the true extent of the cost to the shop is much greater.

"I think that members of the public are afraid to come into the store because of the violence.

Stella Harris, defending, said that Abraham's motives were based on a desire to leave a life of London criminality behind.

"He witnessed the death of his close friend who was stabbed. It had a profound effect on him.

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