The Evening Standard story – Armed robber who posed for photos with haul is jailed
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An armed robber who was caught after posing with wads of cash and a diamond ring following a violent raid was jailed for life today.
Brothers Yohan and Yamani Clarke took photographs after the attack at a cash and carry in which one man was shot in the stomach.
Yohan, 31, was one of five men who stormed into the Costco cash and carry store in Imperial Way, Croydon, on September 17 last year.
He fled the store with bundles of notes and an 18-carat white gold ring, and was caught when police stopped him and found a camera containing the incriminating images.
Passing sentence at Croydon crown court, Judge Nicholas Ainley said Yohan posed a significant risk to the public and ordered him to serve a minimum of 22 years in prison.
Yamani, 23, of South Norwood, admitted handling the proceedings of the robbery and was jailed for 40 months.
The gang raided the store at about 7.40pm, using a claw hammer to smash a triple glazed display cabinet containing £70,000 of jewellery – including the gold ring, valued at £3,500.
One fired a shot as employees chased them away, hitting a 24-year-old who needed emergency surgery to remove a cartridge from near his aorta.
He also suffered gun shot wounds to his colon, bowel, stomach and pancreas.
Officers caught up with Yohan days after the raid when they stopped a car in Redhill, Surrey.
They discovered a digital camera in the car containing photographs of the Clarke brothers posing with bundles of cash, with a ring later identified as that stolen in the robbery.
Yohan, who was unemployed, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob, possessing a firearm at the time of committing an offence and grievous bodily harm with intent on July 6 – the first day of his trial.
Detective Inspector Neil Williams of the Metropolitan Police praised the courage shown by Costco employees.
“I am pleased with today’s sentences and pleased that a dangerous criminal will be spending a substantial amount of time away from the public,” he said.
“This incident could have easily turned into a murder inquiry and whilst we always encourage people to dial 999 in an emergency, I applaud the bravery of staff in Costco who intervened on that day and helped to give first aid.
“Inquiries to trace the three outstanding suspects and various items of jewellery continue and I am appealing to anyone who may have information that could help us to contact the police and ensure that all of the violent individuals involved in the robbery are brought to justice.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 020 7407 6319 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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