Robbers jailed for 87 years after disguising themselves in burqas to steal more than £100,000 worth of jewels

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A judge has ordered a shopper who tripped up one of the gang members during an Aldi raid should receive a reward for his efforts to stop the raiders

Gang members dressed up in burqas to disguise themselves as women so they could carry out raids and steal more than £100,000 worth of jewels.

A shopper, Mark Cooper, tripped up one of the gang as he ran off wearing a burqa in an Aldi raid in Bolton on June 29, 2015.

Now a judge has ordered he should receive a reward for his efforts to stop the raiders, after two other robbers – both wearing burqas – ran up and one used a machete to hit Mr Cooper in the shin causing a deep wound.

Ten men have been jailed for a total of 87 years, the Manchester Evening News reports.

The dual leaders were Christopher Ryder, 30, of Timperley, and Michael Gabriel, 30, of Wythenshawe, who received 22 and 21 years in jail.

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Robbers who dressed in burqas to disguise themselves as while carrying out terrifying raids have been jailed (Photo: Manchester Evening News)
Michael Gabriel, joint leader of the gang of robbers (Photo: MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS)
Michael Gabriel, joint leader of the gang of robbers (Photo: MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS)

Gang members used the ruse to get into a jewellers in Manchester and steal more than £100,000 worth of gems.

The same method was used during a raid at an Aldi supermarket in Bolton which netted the gang £76,000.

During a 12-month spree the organised crime gang carried out at least 10 raids between June 2015 and June 2016 across Greater Manchester.

The same gang stole £106,000 worth of jewellery from Punjab Jewellers in Wilmslow Road, Rusholme on December 9, 2015.

They were foiled by Operation Bonaparte and Operation Toledo in which GMP’s Serious and Organised Crime Team intercepted them.

Some were caught as they were about to carry out another robbery when police stopped a Land Rover in Platt Lane last June.

Others were arrested as they drove from a robbery in Heaton Moor and switched cars in Oak Road, Hale. Read in full from source

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