Edinburgh armed raider was part of burka-clad robbery gang

Three members of a gang who wore burkas as disguises during an armed robbery at a Dundee jeweller's shop have been jailed.

By Dave Finlay
Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 4:45 pm

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

Thug Connor Willis also carried out a violent robbery at an Edinburgh jewellery shop and was part of a gang who posed as Muslim women to stage the second heist.

Miena Jewellery owner Wail Al-Khamis' suffered an arm injury tackling the armed raiders.

In Edinburgh, Willis and his accomplices used a Volkswagen Golf stolen from a house in the city the previous day and abandoned after they switched to another vehicle.

Advocate Depute Ashley Edwards QC told the High Court in Edinburgh that three masked men emerged from the VW before running into Miena Jewellery in Great Junction Street on August 21, 2019.

One was carrying a sledgehammer and two had axes.

They forced entry by striking the door with the sledgehammer, startling the proprietor, Wail al-Khamis.

Armed raiders disguised as Muslim women raid the Dundee shop. (Pic: COPFS)

He shouted 'robbery' and began throwing items, including tools, at the intruders. One of the men held an axe above his head and shouted: "I will kill you." An accomplice warned: "We will kill you."

The axeman twice aimed blows at Mr al-Khamis who blocked them with his left arm, which was struck by the weapon and left cut and bloodied. Other gang members began smashing display cabinets and rifling valuables.

Ms Edwards said: "Mr al-Khamis picked up a fire extinguisher and set it off, releasing a cloud of carbon dioxide spray, The three males then exited the shop and re-entered the Volkswagen Golf. The driver performed a U-turn and drove off at speed."

Mr al-Khamis suffered bruising and swelling and a superficial cut to his left arm but lost stock worth an estimated £27,000 in the raid.

In September 2019, a gang targeted Walker the Jeweller in Dundee, stealing two Rolex watches worth £17,850.

Police recovered CCTV and identified Willis from the footage. He took part in the Dundee raid with Dean King and Anthony Wheeldon. King was jailed for nine years and two months, Wheeldon for 11 years, and Willis for 12 years for his role in the Dundee incident and the raid at Miena in Edinburgh.

A judge was earlier shown footage of King keeping the shop door open while accomplices, two of whom were dressed in full-length robes and face coverings, burst in.

Following the Dundee raid police recovered a rucksack, which was thought to have been dropped by the robbers and found a DNA match for Willis.

The Ford Kuga used in the robbery was traced to South Victoria Dock Road, in Dundee, and a vape bottle that was found provided a DNA link to Wheeldon. A holdall containing clothing was also discovered which provided a DNA match to King.

Fingerprints from Willis were found on the rear registration plate and King was identified from CCTV footage at the scene of the robbery.

King, 28, Wheeldon, 40, and Willis, 24, previously admitted carrying out the robbery while acting with others.

Willis also admitted taking part in the Edinburgh crime.

Jailing the gang, Lord Beckett said the offences "involved ferocious and frightening violence which followed sophisticated planning".

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.