Dagenham robbery gang dressed as firefighters to rob shops

A gang of armed robbers who dressed up as firefighters to hold up shopkeepers has been convicted at the Old Bailey.

Darren Lloyd, 35, of Pettit’s Road, Dagenham, led the well-drilled gang who repeatedly raided cash-in-transit deliveries using stolen cars and false number plates.

The team armed with guns, knives and crowbars included former Met Police Pc Gary Griffiths, of Babington Road, Dagenham.

Lloyd recruited London firefighter Russell Williams, 39, to supply bona fide uniforms.

The team stole more than �200,000 targeting shops streets from their homes in Dagenham.

On Thursday, Lloyd was convicted of 12 counts of conspiracy to rob between July 1 and December 14 last year and four counts of having an imitation firearm with intent, after a month-long trial at the Old Bailey.

Six accomplices, most of them from Dagenham, have admitted their part in 31 robberies and attempted robberies in east and north London.

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Firefighter Williams, of Bury Green Road, Cheshunt, has pleaded guilty to assisting an offender.

Prosecutor Michael Shaw said: “They were a pretty close knit bunch and generally robbed locations close to where they lived, venues they were familiar with and knew how to get away from.”

Ex Pc Griffiths was caught after a detective spotted the “distinctive features” of his former colleague on CCTV.

Lloyd was arrested by armed officers last December as he scrambled from the wreckage of a high-powered Volvo getaway car, having crashed into a garden during a police chase.

His accomplices are Jason Stacey, 38, of Chitty’s Lane, Dagenham, Ben Garforth, 20, of Chadwell Heath Lane, Dagenham, Peter Henderson, 29, of Lymington Road, Dagenham, Frank Nesbitt, 20, of Mildmay Road, Romford, and Joshua McEvilly, 29, of Hare Hall Lane, Romford. Sentencing is to take place in January 2012 on a date yet to be confirmed.

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