Two Men Jailed for Hammer Attack on Tooting Pawnbrokers


Threatened staff before making away with £37,000 worth of jewellery


Picture: Met Police

Two men have been jailed for a total of nine years for their part in a robbery in Tooting last year. A specialist Met team believes they were part of an organised crime gang.

On the morning of 4 October 2019 two masked men armed with a hammer got out of a stolen Audi A6 and walked into a pawnbrokers in Mitcham Road SW17. They used a hammer to smash a glass display case and stole more than £37,000 worth of jewellery leaving staff frightened and extremely distressed.

They returned to the car, in which their getaway driver was waiting, and made off. It was found abandoned by police on Blegborough Road, Streatham, just over an hour later.

An investigation was launched by the Met’s Specialist Crime Command who began a painstaking investigation to find those responsible. CCTV and phone intelligence was all used to track the robbers to the scene and the area where the Audi had been stolen.

On 17 December 2019 officers executed warrants at the suspects’ addresses and arrested them. The keys to a 2015 stolen Jaguar parked on Cumberland Place on false plates were found in EL-Gazzaz’s address and he was also in found in possession of cocaine and cannabis. The following day all three were charged and remanded to court.

Detectives matched blood from the broken glass window and DNA evidence to Saloum Joh and Sherif El-Gazzaz, while officers found traces of DNA on the steering wheel and gear pedals that was traced to Jamal Mahmood. All three left traces on the door handles, while El-Gazzaz’s DNA was found on the hammer used in the attack.

Two of the trio were sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on Wednesday, 26 August. 34-year-old, Saloum Joh, of Cumberland Park, W3, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery, one counts of handling a stolen car. He was given 4 years for conspiracy to commit robbery and 6 months to run concurrently for handling stolen goods.

30-year-old Jamal Mahmood of Eastwood Street, SW16 was handed 4 years for conspiracy to commit robbery and 6 months to run concurrently for handling stolen goods. He had pleaded guilty at the same court to conspiracy to commit robbery, one counts of handling a stolen car.

33-year-old Sherif El-Gazzaz, of Watford Way, NW7, who pleaded guilty at the same court to conspiracy to commit robbery, two counts of handling stolen cars, possession of cocaine and cannabis will be sentenced at a later date, to be confirmed, following a medical assessment.

Detective Sergeant Michael Harding, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: "This attack was the stuff of nightmares for the shop workers, who were confronted by masked men bursting into their shop armed with a hammer.

“The Met are committed to tackling violent organised crime and a lot of work went into tracing those responsible. I and the team are happy to see that another criminal network has been disrupted, and the streets are safer for those two being behind bars."

August 27, 2020