AN ARMED gang has been jailed for more than 20 years after police linked them to three shop robberies in six days in Coventry where staff were threatened with a pistol and knives.
Reegan Richings and Ervin Negrobar – both aged 24 – carried out the raids in between December 9 and 14 last year.
During one a gun was pointed at customer’s head and in another the violent thieves grabbed jewellery from a staff member.
On December 9, Richings, holding a handgun, and knife-wielding Negrobar stormed Subway in Walsgrave Road.
The masked pair ushered staff into a back room, snatching a bracelet and gold chain, before taking the till drawer and making off in a stolen Citreon Berlingo.
Three days later they repeated the tactic at the Seven Stars convenience store in Tile Hill Lane where they assaulted the manager.
On that occasion they made off empty handed but on December 14 they stole cash and cigarettes from the Local Store in Allesley Old Road.
Getaway driver Leon Wyatt, aged 21, helped the pair escape in the Berlingo – stolen from Ludlow Road, Coventry on November 20. Police recovered the vehicle in Selcombe Close on December 17.
It was forensically examined and returned a DNA hit to Negrobar.
Extensive mobile phone analysis placed Richings at the scene of the raids and when officers arrested him on January 2 in Roseberry Avenue, Wood End, they seized clothing matching that worn by one of the offenders.
Richings and Negrobar were charged with conspiracy to rob and at Warwick Crown Court on September 23 and were jailed after admitting their roles in the plot.
Richings was jailed for eight years and Negrobar, who is already serving a seven-and-a-half year term, had an extra four-and-a-half years added to his sentence.
Wyatt admitted one count of robbery and given a five year prison term.
Police also discovered Richings’ sister, Hollie Richings, met the men after the Subway robbery and agreed to sell the stolen chain and bracelet in the Jewellery Quarter.
The 26-year-old, from Second Avenue in Coventry, admitted handling stolen goods and received a six-month sentence suspended for a year. She was also ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid community work.
Det Cn Chris Parry, said: “These were really nasty offences in which victims believed they were going to be subjected to violence.
“This must have been an awful experience for them and I wish them well for the future.
“We secured compelling forensic, CCTV and phone evidence against the three which left them with little option but to admit their guilt at court.”