London

Croydon Costco robber jailed for life for armed raid

A man who raided a south London store in which a worker was shot has been jailed for life at Croydon Crown Court.

Yohan Clarke, 31, was one of the five men who raided the Costco store in Croydon last September.

Clarke admitted conspiracy to rob, possessing a firearm and grievous bodily harm with intent. He will serve at least 10 years and 60 days.

His brother, Yamani Clarke, 23, of South Norwood, was jailed for 40 months after admitting handling stolen goods.

The Metropolitan Police said it is still looking for the three others who were involved in the armed raid.

The unemployed brothers were caught after police stopped a car in Redhill, Surrey, days after the robbery, and found a digital camera in Yohan Clarke's possession.

The camera contained images of the pair posing with cash and a ring worth £3,500 which was stolen from the store on Imperial Way during the robbery.

'Dangerous criminal'

Five masked men threatened staff and used a claw hammer to smash a cabinet to steal jewellery worth £70,000, including the ring, the Met said.

The case against Leigh Tipple, 28, of Dahomey Road, Streatham, was dropped after the prosecution provided no evidence. She had been charged with conspiracy to rob.

Police said the shop worker was shot as he challenged the group.

He underwent emergency surgery to remove bullet fragments from near his aorta and suffered injuries to his colon and gun shot wounds to his bowel, stomach and pancreas.

Det Insp Neil Williams said: "I am pleased with today's sentences and pleased that a dangerous criminal will be spending a substantial amount of time away from the public.

"This incident could have easily turned into a murder enquiry and whilst we always encourage people to dial 999 in an emergency, I applaud the bravery of staff in Costco who intervened on that day and helped to give first aid.

"Enquiries to trace the three outstanding suspects and various items of jewellery continue."

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