Three Hendon men among six jailed for armed robberies in Finchley, Hendon, Edgware, Potters Bar and Borehamwood

Five men and a woman have been sentenced to more than 37 years in jail after carrying out a series of armed robberies on bookmakers and shops across London and the Home Counties.

Three men from Hendon were among the gang who stole more than £16,000 from bookmakers in East Finchley, Hendon, Borehamwood, Edgware and Potters Bar.

Appearing at Harrow Crown Court yesterday, Theo Williams, 23, of Topaz Walk was jailed for nine years and one week, Bilal Shafqat, 23, of Whitefield Avenue, nine years and Adrian Virasami, six years and nine months for the ten armed robberies and two attempted robberies that took place between March and May.

The others jailed were David Griffiths, 26, of Croxley Road in Kilburn, who was jailed for nine years and Ashraful Anan Choudhury, 22, of Crane Avenue in Isleworth, who received three years and two months for acting as getaway driver in the last two robberies.

Stephanie Clifford, 26, of St Helens Gardens in Ladbroke Grove, received a suspended sentence of 18 months for conspiracy to commit robbery after being involved in the first robbery.

On March 20, the gang targeted William Hill in Church Lane in East Finchley, where two men threatened staff with a firearm and stole £568.48 and an iPhone 5, placing the money in a distinctive black and white holdall.

Five days later, three masked men stole £4,230 from Ladbrokes in Manor Way in Borehamwood, after threatening a cashier with a gun. The men also emptied the tills and change racks.

On April 3, three masked men armed with a gun entered the Betfred bookmakers on Vivian Avenue in Hendon. They threatened cashiers and stole £900.

The following day three masked men, one armed with a gun, stormed into the Ladbrokes bookmakers in Deans Lane in Edgware. Two of the men persuaded cashiers to empty the safe and tills, walking away with £3,500 in the same black and white holdall.

On April 6 the gang tried and failed to rob the Ladbrokes in Western Parade in Enfield.

Six days later, the gang made off with almost £800 from a shop in High Street, Potters Bar. Three men walked into the store holding a hammer and a firearm and threatened to kill the shopkeeper if he caused any problems, before emptying the till.

On April 22, two masked men targeted Ladbrokes in Leeming Road, Borehamwood, brandishing a gun and a hammer. The man with the gun, who was wearing a carnival mask, chased a staff member into the till area and took £235.78.

The men also targeted bookmakers in Watford, Kilburn and Ilford.

Griffiths was arrested outside his home address on May 14, where police discovered the black and white holdall containing a gun, a mask and clothing worn in the robberies.

On the same day Virasami, Shafqat and Williams were all arrested in Hendon.

Williams, Shafqat and Griffiths were responsible for the robberies while Virasami acted as the getaway driver.

All four pleaded guilty to having a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and conspiracy to commit robbery between March and May.

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Scott Hartley from the Flying Squad said: "I am pleased with the sentences handed down to this gang and hope it acts as a deterrent to others.

“Those involved gave little consideration to the frightened staff at the bookmakers and shops who genuinely feared for their lives when confronted with a firearm.

“Had it not been for the intervention of the Flying Squad and our counterparts at Hertfordshire Constabulary these individuals would have most likely continued with committing further offences.

“I would like to thank my team of officers who have worked tirelessly in bringing all those involved before the courts.”

Comments (2)

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3:08pm Sun 10 Nov 13

david Burcombe says...

Well done the police for being on the ball and catching the rogues
Well done the police for being on the ball and catching the rogues david Burcombe

10:35pm Mon 11 Nov 13

Neville Longbottom says...

"received a suspended sentence of 18 months", justice for men but not for women.

Surely after robbing the first shop and seeing you get such a paltry amount, you would move on to a better crime or richer pickings.

9 Years for a few thousand each, for once crime doesn't pay.
"received a suspended sentence of 18 months", justice for men but not for women. Surely after robbing the first shop and seeing you get such a paltry amount, you would move on to a better crime or richer pickings. 9 Years for a few thousand each, for once crime doesn't pay. Neville Longbottom

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