Police appeal over ‘bungling’ robbers caught on CCTV in £20K jewellery raid
Police have issued an urgent appeal for help to catch two "bungling" robbers as a third was convicted of snatching more than £20,000 of jewellery.
Andrew Elliott, 32, and two unidentified men were captured on CCTV as they ransacked trays of gold rings and earrings at Ital Gold jewellery shop in Haringey, north London, in April last year.
A lone female shop assistant was grabbed and thrown on the floor before the robbers managed to escape after briefly finding themselves trapped behind a security door.
Elliott was arrested after police identified him from a distinctive tattoo on his neck which read "I still stand strong".
The prolific criminal pleaded guilty to the jewellery robbery and appeared at the Old Bailey to be sentenced on Thursday.
Speaking outside, Detective Inspector Paul Ridley, from Scotland Yard, called on the public to help identify the other two outstanding culprits.
He said: "This was a callous robbery targeting a lone female. Although haphazard and bungling in their approach, they were still able to secure tens of thousands of pounds worth of jewellery.
"I'm delighted we were able to identify and convict Elliott. However, this case is far from over.
"I would urgently request that any members of the public who recognise the two remaining outstanding suspects come forward to my investigation team."
The court heard how Elliott and his two accomplices had struck while shop assistant Valentina Ivanova, 31, was alone in the Green Lanes store.
Ms Ivanova was put into a headlock and thrown to the ground, suffering a head injury, the Old Bailey heard.
She managed to break free, press the panic button and lock herself into the staff toilet as the robbers grabbed jewellery and attempted to run out of a security door.
Prosecutor Tayo Hassan said the defendant and a man referred to as suspect three "panicked" as they tried to open the door when they found themselves briefly locked in.
She said: "Eventually the defendant and suspect three kicked in the door to try to escape but suspect one managed to open the door."
The pair ran out and the door locked behind them, leaving another man trapped, the court heard.
He banged on the door and eventually a member of the public, who knew nothing of what had happened, opened the door to let him out.
Ms Hassan told the court the robbers made off with more than £20,000 of gold jewellery, causing £5,000 of damage.
Afterwards, Ms Ivanova said she felt "scared and shocked" and more nervous of dealing with customers.
During the robbery, Elliott, from Luton, disguised a tattoo on his cheek by wearing sunglasses, the court heard.
He was on licence at the time of the jewellery shop raid and had previous convictions for four other robberies.
In mitigation, Jide Lanlehin said Elliott had not engaged in any of the violence and was concentrated only on grabbing the jewellery and getting out.
Judge Mark Dennis adjourned sentence until Friday afternoon for more information about the defendant's background.