Monday 27 January 2020

Jewel thief dressed up in burka to trick his way into shop

Kim Pilling

A jewel thief dressed up in a burka to trick his way into a shop, a court has heard.

The raider posed as a woman in the traditional garment to gain access to the jeweller's in Burnley, Lancashire.

Three masked men wielding a single-barrel shotgun, a Samurai sword and an axe then followed the "customer" into the shop where they robbed up to £30,000 (€36,0000) of jewellery.

Four men were today jailed at Preston Crown Court for admitting conspiracy to rob the shop and two homes in Burnley and Bolton.

One of the gang was an Olympic wrestling hopeful who "had thrown it all away" as he plotted the robberies which took place between February and May 2011.

Rais Atcha, 20, of Burwell Close, Bolton, had trained at the sport since the age of four and had represented his country, with "high hopes" of making the British team for London 2012.

He was jailed for 12 years along with Fahim Kola, 20, of Willows Lane, Bolton, who received 10 years and eight months, Mohammed Asif Khan, 27, formerly of Mencroft Avenue, Bolton, who was jailed for nine years and four months, and Baber Khan, 26, of Jasmine Court, Bolton, who was imprisoned for 10 years and eight months.

Zoe Nield, prosecuting, said the defendants took part in some or all of the three raids but it could not be said "with any degree of certainty" the role each played in the incidents.

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