Gangster jailed for 11 years after spending six on the run

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THE long arm of the law finally caught up with a member of an armed robbery gang yesterday when he was jailed for 11 years.

Leeds Crown Court heard Anthony Craggs had spent six years on the run since jumping bail in 2004.

He spent four years in Spain and two in Amsterdam before Dutch police arrested him last year thinking he was another person.

But his fingerprints then revealed his true identity and he was sent back to West Yorkshire to face trial for his crimes.

Craggs, 32, admitted conspiracy to commit robberies and breach of bail.

The court heard his three accomplices were jailed for a total of 42 years after they stood trial in 2004.

Tim Capstick, prosecuting, said the gang from the Leeds area organised two armed robberies in 2003, one in Bournemouth and the other in Edinburgh, at Abbey National branches when security staff were refilling cash machines.

In the first £31,528 was stolen after one man was struck on the head with a baseball bat and threatened with a single barrelled shotgun when he could not open a safe.

The security guard said later: “Because I was unable to open the safe I honestly believed I was about to be shot.

“I thought my life was going to come to an end.”

Two months later £58,000 was stolen in a similar raid in Edinburgh when two masked men threatened security guards with a different shotgun.

Craggs accepted helping to supply vehicles, used before and after the raids as getaway cars, which had been stolen in Leeds and Barnsley.

He also made false registration plates for them.

Timothy Bubb, representing Craggs, said he had no involvement with the firearms or actual robberies.

Commending the police for their “painstaking and effective detective work” in the case, Recorder Mark Cran QC said the robberies were professional and the role which was played by Craggs was critical to the success of the enterprise.