Robber jailed for five years over pawnshop smash-and-grab

H&T Pawnbrokers was raided. Picture: Julie Bull
H&T Pawnbrokers was raided. Picture: Julie Bull
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A ROBBER has been jailed for five years after carrying out a smash-and-grab raid on a pawnbroker during which he threatened to shoot staff if police were called.

Jamie Ross was caught on camera waiting outside a second pawnbroker’s shop later on the day of the crime while proceeds from his raid were sold.

Ross, who appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh from custody, carried out the raid on Harvey and Thomson Pawnbrokers in Nicolson Street despite a suspicious passer-by phoning police and going into the shop to warn staff that she feared a robbery was about to occur.

The 21-year-old admitted assaulting staff at the premises and robbing them of jewellery worth more than £15,000 on July 22 last year.

During the raid he jumped over a counter and smashed glass display cases with a mallet and told two employees Lauren: “Phone the police if you want and I’ll shoot you.”

Advocate depute Lisa Gillespie said members of the public had seen Ross outside the shop acting in a suspicious manner.

“He wore dark clothing, including a tracksuit top fastened close to his mouth with the hood up, concealing most of his face and was carrying a holdall,” she said.

One woman was concerned enough to call police and went into the premises to warn staff that she thought the shop was about to be robbed.

The prosecutor told the court: “As she left she was passed by the accused going into the shop.”

Apprentice roofer Ross used a wooden mallet to smash his way into display cases and helped himself to jewellery and watches which he put in the holdall, before jumping back over the counter and fleeing.

Six gold chains taken in the robbery were recovered after an associate of Ross sold them later that day to another pawnbroker.

Ms Gillespie said: “The accused was identified by police from CCTV footage captured as he ran down a nearby lane after leaving the shop.”

“He was identified again from CCTV waiting outside the second pawnbroker’s shop while the gold chains were sold,” she said.

Defence counsel Ronnie Renucci said: “Drugs are at the root of this. The drug he has a problem with his valium.”

“At the time of this offence he was under the influence of valium,” he added.

Mr Renucci said the crime was all the more inexplicable because Ross was working at the time.

“He realises now he cannot continue in the manner he has up to now,” said the defence counsel.

He said that while on remand for the robbery, Ross had spent time in an adult prison for the first time and older inmates, including life prisoners, had told him he did not want to end up like them.

Judge Lord Glennie told Ross that he would have sentenced him to six years’ imprisonment, but for his guilty plea.