THE ninth member of an international gang of jewellery thieves who targeted high-end stores has been jailed for nine years for robbery and possession of an imitation firearm.
Janno Heinola, a 33-year-old Estonian man, was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court yesterday for his part in a series of multi-million pound armed robberies across Europe, including four raids at Berrys jewellers in Leeds.
He pleaded guilty to robbery and firearm offences from a 2005 raid at Berrys in Leeds, where the gang escaped with over £92,000 worth of expensive watches.
In February he was extradited by West Yorkshire detectives from Dusseldorf, Germany, after completing a jail term for an earlier robbery.
In the 2007 raid at Berrys in Albion Street, gang members escaped with jewellery worth over £374,000 pounds.
In total they are thought to have netted in excess of £2m in UK raids, and in excess of £100m across Europe.
The gang caught cheap flights into the country on budget airlines before being met by a ‘fixer’ who gave them details of the planned robberies. The gang would then fly out after the robberies had taken place.