A GANG behind a series of armed robberies including a £30,000 raid on a Burnley jewellers, have been jailed for a total of 42 years.
Shocking CCTV footage released by the police shows the men burst into Muzaffar Jewellers in the terrifying raid on February 19th last year.
One of the attackers tricked his way in disguised as a woman in a burka before owner and father-of-four Muzaffar Ali was threatened with a gun and robbed of thousands of pounds worth of gold jewellery.
Four men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to armed robbery at Preston Crown Court and were sentenced on Friday.
Rais Atcha (20) of Burwell Close, Bolton was jailed for 12 years; Fahim Kola (19) of Willows Lane, Bolton was sentenced to 10 years eight months; Mohammed Asif Khan (26) of Mancroft Avenue, Bolton, was given nine years four months and Baber Khan (25) of Jasmine Court, Bolton was jailed for ten years eight months. Khan was given an extended licence of five years on his release from prison.
Each member of the gang admitted to taking part in at least one of three robberies including the raid at Muzzafar Jewellers, Brougham Street, a robbery at a house on Ellesmere Road, Bolton and a third raid at a house on Fairfield Drive, Burnley, on May 27th, 2011.
During this raid a 74-year-old man and 63-year-old woman were threatened and assaulted with a gun and an axe before the men made off with £3,000 worth of cash and jewellery.
They were arrested after a long and complex investigation by a team of detectives from Burnley CID, who were able to use forensic, telephone and witness evidence as part of their enquiries.
DS Nicola Bithell, from Burnley CID, said: “This has been a long and complex enquiry and I am satisfied with the result. The gang used extreme violence and weapons to threaten the victims leaving them terrified and traumatised.
“We have worked extremely hard with Greater Manchester Police throughout the investigation and I hope it sends a strong message out to those who think they can come into Lancashire to commit crime that they will be targeted and brought to justice.”