A gang that plotted a raid on upmarket watch retailer and jeweller Mappin & Webb were busted minutes before they were about to pounce, a court heard yesterday.
The gang of seven were planning to rob the retailer’s St Andrews branch at the Old Course Hotel and had even bought weapons and two Italian scooters in preparation for the raid.
But police had been tracking them and moved in before they could carry out their heist.
Mappin & Webb St. Andrews stocks a range of fine jewellery and luxury watches. It is also an official Rolex agency.
At The High Court in Glasgow yesterday, Thomas Slayford, 20, Paul Hogwood, 56, Peter Attwood, 44, Benson Aluko, 20, Kai McGinley, 18, Louie Attwood, 21 and Kevin Mulheron, 34 were all convicted of conspiring to rob the branch.
BBC reports said the gang had used the home of Mulheron’s brother in Glasgow’s Govan area to finalise plans for the raid, which they were intending to carry out in March 2015.
Four of the men had travelled to St Andrews in late February last year, but officers spotted two of them allegedly carrying out reconnaissance by recording footage of the jeweller on mobile phones.
In the build-up to the planned raid, the court heard that Attwood had hired a BMW in London while his son bought sledgehammers, holdalls, motorcycle helmets, jackets and waterproof trousers. Two scooters were also brought north having earlier been stolen in London.
The court was told that in early March, McGinley bought a knife and cleaver from a hardware store in Glasgow.
Judge John Morris QC deferred sentencing for reports.
Det Insp Stevie Sandilands, from Police Scotland’s Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit, said working with the Metropolitan Police had been “vital” in the lead-up to the arrests.
He said: “I would like to thank the Met for their proactive and swift assistance, which ultimately helped us stop a potentially violent and dangerous incident taking place.”