Jail for Dagenham leader of gang which robbed shops dressed as firefighters
The mastermind behind a team of robbers who dressed as firefighters to hold shopkeepers at gunpoint has been jailed for 18 years.
Darren Lloyd, 35, of Pettit’s Road, Dagenham, led the gang who repeatedly raided security van deliveries around east London using false number plates on stolen cars.
The robbers, including former Metropolitan policeman Pc Gary Griffiths, of Babington Road, Dagenham, were being watched by Flying Squad detectives as they staked out targets throughout summer and autumn 2010.
By December the gang changed their strategy, deploying a robber inside shops, dressed in the distinctive maroon firefighter’s uniform and yellow helmet, as a “ruse” to gain access to safes and store rooms.
The robberies were clustered around Dagenham and Chadwell Heath.
You may also want to watch:
Lloyd recruited London fireman Russell Williams, 39, of Bury Green Road, Cheshunt, to supply uniforms to Griffiths, 42, who wore the kit and armed himself with a pistol to threaten staff and demand cash.
Sentencing Lloyd to 18 years in prison on Friday, Judge David Paget QC told him his crimes had demonstrated “sophisticated planning and persistent offending”.
- 1 Street food market coming to Barking as lockdown continues to ease
- 2 Three arrests after cannabis raids in Dagenham and South Woodford
- 3 Rainbow lights 'signal hope' as part of Barking and Dagenham festival
- 4 Barking and Dagenham pays tribute to Prince Philip
- 5 Second World War bomb pulled from River Thames in Barking
- 6 Jailed: Burglar who drove on wrong side of road trying to flee police
- 7 Pictures: Remembering Prince Philip's visits to east London
- 8 Council reveals new debt collection service to cut need for enforcement
- 9 Barking MP receives 'disgusting' Holocaust email over Covid-19 vaccine passports
- 10 Hospital worker killed by ex-partner before he committed suicide, court hears
Lloyd was arrested by armed officers in December 2010 as he scrambled from the wreckage of a high-powered Volvo getaway car, having crashed into a garden during a police chase.
He was convicted of 12 counts of conspiracy to rob and two of having an imitation firearm with intent. He had earlier admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply.
Among the places the gang targeted were Premier Foods, Becontree Avenue and Reels Arcade, Green Lane, both Dagenham.
Williams admitted assisting an offender. Griffiths, Joshua McEvilley, Ben Garforth, Jason Stacey, Frank Nesbitt and Peter Henderson all also admitted their involvement in the conspiracy.
They will all be sentenced on January 27.