'Terrifying' robbery gang jailed for 71 years - thugs threatened Croydon victims with knives and hammer
Seven men who committed a series of violent robberies in Croydon in the space of a week have been jailed for 71 years.
The men threatened a couple in their seventies with knives and another man with a hammer during their robbing spree which police say terrified their victims.
They were sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on Thursday March 13 for the robberies which took place between March 23 and March 29 2013 in a range of addresses in Croydon.
On March 23 a couple were confronted in their back garden by masked men who threatened them with knives.
They then stole cash, jewellery and mobiles before driving away in the couple’s car.
Three days later on March 26 a man in his twenties was threatened with a hammer in Norton Gardens, Norbury, by the suspects who stole his Audi.
The following day the violent burglars broke into a man’s house in adjacent street Semley Road and then broke his jaw after he resisted the robbery.
They made off with mobile phones, jewellery and stole the victim’s car.
On March 28 a woman in her 50s heard a noise coming from the ground floor of her house in Turle Road at about 10.40pm.
She was confronted by six masked men with one of them holding a kitchen knife. The suspects stole mobile phones and a games console.
On March 29, a woman in her thirties was yards away from her house in Norman Road when she was confronted by a number of masked men. They stole her costume jewellery thendragged her towards her house where they told her to knock on the door.
Her family opened the door and fought off the suspects who didn’t manage to steal anything from the house.
Police caught one of the robbers, Cameron Smith, on March 29 after they found him driving a stolen Renault Clio which had been taken earlier that evening from a teenager.
After studying forensics police officers tracked down the other men and by July 2013 had charged all seven of them.
Kwasi Owusu-Amankwaa of Bensham Manor Road, Thornton Heath and Ohene Bamfo, of Christie Drive was sentenced to 10 years.
Cameron Smith of Silverleigh Road, Thornton Heath was sentenced to six years whilst a 17-year-old from Surrey was sentenced to 7 years.
Owusu-Amankwaa, Bamfo, Smith and the 17-year-old juvenile pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob at the start of the trial in January 2014.
Earlier in February, Cheick Cisse and Aurel Lunganyu, of Gillett Road and Tyler Williams-Clifford of Wickham Road, were found guilty of conspiracy to rob.
Cisse was jailed for 14 years and Lunganyu and Williams-Clifford for 12 years.
Detective Superintendent Simon Messinger from Police in Croydon said:"I am pleased with the results of this investigation.
"The victims were subjected to a terrifying experience and I hope that the sentencing today brings them some comfort.
"I also hope it sends a strong and clear message out to those who think that they will be able to get away with violent crime.
"We will pursue every avenue and will use all technology at our disposal to ensure that people are investigated, charged and brought before a court."
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