North London 'smash and grab gang stole £1m of goods'

A north London gang used stolen motorbikes to steal almost £1m worth of goods in a series of "smash and grab" raids, a court has heard.

The group is accused of targeting shops in Bond Street and Covent Garden, stealing designer handbags, iPads, computers and jewellery.

The "amazingly efficient" night-time raids lasted a matter of minutes, Southwark Crown Court heard.

The defendants, in their teens and early twenties, deny the charges.

The court heard that riders and passengers sped up to upmarket shops including Michael Kors and Loewe.

'Amazingly quick'

They threw missiles through windows before ramming their bikes into the stores and helping themselves to goods during summer 2011, jurors were told.

The gang would then escape at speeds of up to 100mph, the court heard.

They also allegedly armed themselves with weapons including sledgehammers, crowbars and on one occasion, a gun.

Prosecutor Timothy Clark, said: "In summary, this case relates to a gang who spent the summer of 2011 committing a number - in fact 46 - burglaries, attempted burglaries and robberies on commercial premises and stealing almost £1 million of goods.

"The gang mainly, but not always, stole handbags or computer equipment.

"The method, known as 'smash and grab' was dramatic but also amazingly efficient and quick."

Imitation handgun

The jury was told the Steven Dedman, 20, who Mr Clark said was the mastermind, had already pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy to burgle and two of conspiracy to possess criminal property.

He also admitted being present at nine of the raids and stealing, fixing or tampering with motorbikes that were used in five burglaries, the court heard.

Dedman, of Wharton Road in Bloomsbury, denies five counts of robbery and one charge that he was in possession of an imitation handgun with intent in May last year.

Reece Jackson, 19, of Holly Park Estate in Finsbury Park, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle, but denies two counts of robbery and being in possession of an imitation handgun.

Daniel White, 19, from Pritchard Court, George's Road in Holloway, denies two counts of handling stolen goods in May 2011.

Paul Fearn, 22 from Goswell Road in Clerkenwell, denies being present at a raid on the Apple Store in Covent Garden in October last year.

Grant McCarroll, 19, from Drummond Way, Offord Road in Islington, denies perverting the course of justice.

The trial continues.

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