Friday 22 November 2019

Men admit role in dramatic smash and grab raid where £1m worth of watches stolen

Ryan Hooper, Press Association

Two men have appeared in court to admit their involvement in a million-pound armed raid at Selfridges.

Sam Curtin and Connor Groake admitted conspiracy to rob and aggravated vehicle taking at the department store in Oxford Street, London, on June 6.


Curtin, 24, appeared at Kingston Crown Court on crutches having broken his leg in a crash on one of the getaway vehicles, a Vespa moped. His co-accused, Groake, 19, was driving the moped, the court heard.


The duo, from Islington, will appear at the same court next Monday to be sentenced for their part in the smash-and-grab attack, in which a six-strong gang dressed in burqas made off with £1 million of luxury watches.


Scotland Yard said the raiders used the religious garments to disguise themselves and the tools they were carrying during the raid.


They said members of the group used an axe and a sledgehammer to smash glass cabinets at a prearranged moment, then filled holdalls with the watches.


Oxford Street shoppers looked on as the gang met accomplices outside with getaway vehicles.


Curtin and Groake are the only two charged in connection with the incident so far.


The court also heard how Curtin, who winced in pain as he made his way into court, was in need of urgent medical care following an operation on his shattered leg.


Judge Nicholas Price said he was "astonished" to hear the prison doctor was not involved in Curtin's treatment, particularly after defence counsel Gordon Johnston said the wound had started to smell.


Both defendants were remanded in custody.

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