1m motorbike smash-and-grab gang member sues police who rammed him with unmarked car during raid
Dean Cole, 24, claims police injured his leg during ambushSteven Dedman and Lizzie Andrews, 18, turned friends into 'smash and grab' gang targeting high-end shops Hit nearly 50 of London's exclusive brands including Apple, Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior and Jimmy Choo in six-month spree
Pillion passengers would run in and seize valuable items before jumping back onto the bikes and speeding off at up to 100mph
17:28 GMT, 7 December 2012
Dean Cole, 24, pleaded guilty to his part in the conspiracy before the trial
A member of a smash-and-grab gang who smashed their way into top stores using high-powered motorbikes and sledgehammers is suing Scotland Yard – claiming he was injured in a police ambush.
Dean Cole, 24, was part of the gang that targeted 46 stores in London's West End – including stores run by Apple, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana and Jimmy Choo.
Cole, from Holloway, North London, was riding a stolen high-speed
bike when police sprang an ambush in Mayfair in August last year. He was
rammed by an unmarked police vehicle after a raid on Chanel in Bond
Street, leaving him with a leg injury.
He admitted at Southwark Crown Court to his part in the conspiracy to commit burglary but may be unfit to appear in the dock for sentencing on January 11 when the case comes up again, in the dock.
Now he has instructed solicitors to
make a claim for compensation against Scotland Yard, alleging that the
police action caused his injury.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said yesterday (FRI): 'We can confirm, as of late November 2012, the Metropolitan Police Service has been served with a claim form by solicitors who are representing Dean Cole. We await further details of that claim.
'As with all claims, once the full details have been received, then the Metropolitan Police Service will assess them. If a claim is without merit, we will defend it vigorousl
The gang's crime spree, organised by lovers Steve Dedman, 20, and Lizzie Andrews, 19, was only brought to an end when they attracted too much attention – robbing a boutique owned by designer Anya Hindmarch just days after her bags were used by Royal Wedding guests.
Scotland Yard were forced to launch a major undercover operation to catch the gang involving stakeouts outside London stores lasting over 100 nights.
The young thieves, convicted this week, have been compared with Fagin's gang of pickpockets in the Charles Dickens' classic story Oliver Twist.
Four members of the gang were convicted of raiding 46 designer stores. Three others had earlier pleaded guilty to similar offences.
Ringleader Steve Dedman, 20, of King's Cross, was one of two men found guilty of robbery.
His girlfriend and Cole admitted conspiracy to burgle at an earlier hearing.
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Dedman, pictured left, was yesterday found
guilty of two counts of robbery and cleared of three. His girlfriend
Lizzy Andrews, 19, right, pleaded guilty to her part in the conspiracy
before the trial
The youthful thieves, who were well-trained and often knew exactly which items were the most valuable, drew comparisons with Fagin's gang of pickpockets in the Charles Dickens' classic Oliver Twist.
They are estimated to have stolen up to 1million worth of goods during nearly 50 robberies last year.
‘The gang mainly, but not always, stole handbags or computer equipment,’ said prosecutor Tim Clark.
‘Their method, known and “smash and grab”, was dramatic but also amazingly efficient and quick.’
gang would arrive on the scene on up to four stolen motorbikes with two
people on each, often using the bikes to smash stores’ windows.
Targeted: Fashion designer Anya Hindmarch had her boutique raided by the gang days after her handbags has been worn by guests at the Royal Wedding
They armed themselves with sledgehammers and crowbars for some raids, while other times they claimed to be carrying knives and one passer-by was warned off with a handgun.
Clark said: ‘As the riders waited with the engines running on the
bikes, with them pointing away from the shop, the pillion passengers
would run into the store and seize valuable items before running back
and jumping onto the bikes.'
They would then speed off through the streets of London jumping red lights and going the wrong direction down one-way roads to evade police.
But the gang drew too much attention to
themselves after targeting a boutique owned by well-connected designer Anya
Hindmarch – days after bags were worn by guests at the Royal Wedding.
Ms Hindmarch, a friend of David and Samantha Cameron, told The Times newspaper: 'They knew exactly what they were doing, they took all of our bestsellers and our most expensive pieces.'
Scotland Yard launched an undercover police operation to bring down the thieves before they did any more damage to London's retail sector.
When officers raided Dedman’s home he fled across rooftops but was tracked down several weeks later.
In his home they discovered a cake decorated with a motorcyclist crafted from icing sugar, surrounded by handbags bearing the Louis Vuitton logo.
The cake was complete with the words ‘Happy Birthday Steven’ around the edge.
Southwark Crown Court heard the gang’s other targets included the flagship Apple Store in Covent Garden, as well as Hush Jewellers and a Dior outlet between April and October 2011.
When police raided Steven Dedman's house house they found a cake depicting the scene of one of his ram raids
Grant McCarroll, left, and Daniel White, right, at Southwark Crown Court. McCarroll was found guilty of helping Dedman evade capture, while White was cleared of two counts of handling stolen goods
Fellow raiders Reece Jackson, 19, left, and Paul Fearn, 22, right, were also convicted. Fearn was one of six men who raided the Apple store, stealing 37 items totalling 49,893.
Dedman, now 20, was found guilty of two counts of robbery and cleared of three.
He had already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary and admitted he was present at nine smash-and-grab raids last year.
Fellow raiders Reece Jackson, 19, and Paul Fearn, 22, were also convicted alongside Grant McCarroll, 19, who was found guilty of helping Dedman evade capture for two weeks.
Bradley White, 22, pleaded guilty to his part in the conspiracy before the trial
A fifth man, Daniel White, 19, was cleared by the jury of two counts of handling stolen goods from Dior and Hush Jewellers.
Dedman’s girlfriend Lizzy Andrews 19, Bradley White, 22, and Dean Cole, 24, pleaded guilty to their part in the conspiracy before the trial.
The gang will be sentenced together on January 11 next year.
Judge Anthony Pitts told them: ‘I am not making any promises whatsoever.
‘I want to find out more about you before deciding what the appropriate sentences will be.’
A total of 46 raids were carried out between April and October last year, with nearly 1m-worth of merchandise stolen.
‘The bikes would then speed away. We
have evidence from CCTV, police helicopter footage, and eyewitnesses,
that these bikes would travel at very high speeds, up to 100mph, and go
through red lights to get away at speed’.
one robbery at video agency Adjust Your Set, in Charlotte Mews, Soho,
on August 22, five raiders on three bikes broke into the shop and one
shouted at two security guards: ‘I’ve got a knife, get in the f***ing
The gang escaped with a computer, a laptop, and three Apple monitors.
When the gang struck at the offices of Overbury, near Tottenham Court Road, they caved in a glass door.
Security guard Rachid Elkhamlichi confronted one of the robbers but he shouted: ‘Stand back, stand back or I’ll do you.’
Detectives probe the scene outside the Chanel store in Old Bond Street after the raid last year
The gang would arrive on the scene on up to four stolen motorbikes with two people on each, often using the bikes to smash the windows
Fearn was one of six men who raided the Apple store, stealing 37 items totalling 49,893.
He was caught when officers discovered his abandoned moped outside Wyclif Court, Clerkenwell, central London, and found him hiding inside.
He had a bag containing an iPad, a MacBook Air and two MacBook Pros.
Bradley White and Cole were caught when undercover police rammed into their high-powered bike as they attempted to flee from a raid on Chanel, in Bond Street, and Cole suffered injuries to his leg.
The judge heard Cole may still be unfit to appear in court for sentencing next month, and ordered a medical report to be delivered if he cannot be in the dock.
Police discovered a photo on Andrews’ phone of a person holding a newspaper cutting about the raid at Anya Hindmarch's boutique.
Dedman, of Wharton Street, Bloomsbury, central London, denied five counts of robbery and one count of possession of an imitation firearm.
He was convicted of two counts of robbery, but cleared of three and found not guilty of possession of a firearm.
Jackson, of Holly Park Estate, in Finsbury Park, north London, denied one count of robbery but was found guilty by the jury.
Both have already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary between April 1 and October 11, 2011, and Dedman has admitted conspiracy to possess criminal property.
Fearn, of Turnpike House, Goswell Road, Clerkenwell, denied one count of burglary.
McCarroll, of Drummond Way, Offord Road, Islington, north London, denied doing an act intended to pervert the course of public justice.
Both were found guilty by the jury yesterday.
Daniel White of Georges Road, Holloway, north London, denied two counts of handling stolen goods.
He walked free from court after being cleared of both charges.
Andrews, of Radnor Street, Clerkenwell, Bradley White of Georges Road, Holloway, and Cole of Georges Road, Holloway, both north London, admitted conspiracy to commit burglary before the trial.
White and Andrews also admitted conspiracy to possess criminal property.
VIDEO: Caught on camera: Dedman gang raid Jimmy Choo and Apple stores in London…
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