A watch thief who used a fake shotgun to lift £67,000 of Rolex watches from a Leeds pawnbroker and jeweller has been jailed for eight years.
Masked robber Dylan Wood entered Browns in the city’s Cross Gates with a sawn-off shotgun in January this year. As reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post, he and an accomplice then forced two female sales staff to open display cabinets, before telling them to kneel on the floor as they cleared the shelves of Rolex watches and jewellery.
The stolen items were believed to have a wholesale value of £67,000, making the goods’ retail value significantly higher.
Wood is said to have carried out a reconnaissance of the store earlier in the day before the robbery, under the pretence of buying a gift for his girlfriend. Despite changing his top and wearing a mask, staff said they recognised his shoes.
After viewing the CCTV, police were able to identify Wood due to previous offences. Patrick Gallagher, prosecuting, said officers visited the home of Wood’s girlfriend, where they seized a mobile phone with texts stating that he had been "grafting".
He was arrested a few days later. The shotgun used in the robbery was found to be defunct and unable to shoot, having been examined by an expert.
24-year-old Wood was jailed for eight years. The court was told that Wood had turned to a life of crime to pay for drugs, which he started taking after the death of his mother last year.
The police also paid tribute to the strength of the two members of staff involved.